N-alkoxyheterocycles can act as powerful one-electron acceptors in photochemical electrontransfer reactions. One-electron reduction of these species results in formation of a radical that undergoes N-O bond fragmentation to form an alkoxy radical and a neutral heterocycle. The kinetics of this N-O bond fragmentation reaction have been determined for a series of radicals with varying substituents and extents of delocalization. Rate constants varying over 7 orders of magnitude are obtained. A reaction potential energy surface is described that involves avoidance of a conical intersection. A molecular basis for the variation of the reaction rate constant with radical structure is given in terms of the relationship between the energies of the important molecular orbitals and the reaction potential energy surface. Ab initio and density functional electronic structure calculations provide support for the proposed reaction energy surface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry