W. Fudickar, T. Linker
Why Triple Bonds Protect Acenes from Oxidation and Decomposition
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 15071
DOI: 10.1021/ja306056x
An experimental and computational study on the impact of functional groups on the oxidation stability of higher acenes is presented. We synthesized anthracenes, tetracenes, and pentacenes with various substituents at the periphery, identi fi ed their photooxygenation products, and measured the kinetics. Furthermore, the products obtained from thermolysis and the kinetics of the thermolysis are investigated. Density functional theory is applied in order to predict reaction energies, frontier molecular orbital inter- actions, and radical stabilization energies. The combined results allow us to describe the mechanisms of the oxidations and the subsequent thermolysis. We found that the alkynyl group not only enhances the oxidation stability of acenes but also protects the resulting endoperoxides from thermal decomposition. Additionally, such substituents increase the regioselectivity of the photooxygenation of tetracenes and pentacenes. For the fi rst time, we oxidized alkynylpentacenes by using chemically generated singlet oxygen ( 1 O 2 ) without irradiation and identi fi ed a 6,13-endoperoxide as the sole regioisomer. The bimolecular rate constant of this oxidation amounts to only 1 × 10 5 s ? 1 M ? 1 . This unexpectedly slow reaction is a result of a physical deactivation of 1 O 2 . In contrast to unsubstituted or aryl-substituted acenes, photooxygenation of alkynyl-substituted acenes proceeds most likely by a concerted mechanism, while the thermolysis is well explained by the formation of radical intermediates. Our results should be important for the future design of oxidation stable acene-based semiconductors
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