Formation of an Unusual Four-Membered Nitrogen Ring (Tetrazetidine) Radical Cation
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Treatment of triphenylphosphine (Ph3P) with an excess of diisopropyl azodicarboxylate at 0-25 àresulted in the formation of a symmetrical tetraalkyl tetrazetidinetetracarboxylate radical cation, containing the elusive cyclic N4 ring system. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy revealed a 9-line spectrum, with hyperfine coupling constants indicative of four almost magnetically equivalent nitrogen atoms. The radical species was surprisingly long-lived, and could still be observed several hours after generation and standing at 25 î Expansion of the central resonance revealed further splitting into a pentet (hyperfine coupling to the four methine protons). Three mechanistically plausible structures containing the tetrazetidine substructure were proposed based on the 9-line EPR spectrum. Following DFT calculations, the predicted hyperfine coupling constants were used to simulate the EPR spectra for the three candidate structures. The combined calculations and simulations were consistent with a radical cation species, but not a radical anion or radical carbenoid structure. The lowest energy conformation of the N4 ring was slightly puckered, with the alkyl carboxylate groups all trans and the four carbonyl groups aligned in a pinwheel arrangement around the ring. Analogous results were obtained with the original Mitsunobu reagents, Ph3P and diethyl azodicarboxylate, but not with Ph3P and di-tert-butyl azodicarboxylate. A mechanism is proposed based on a radical version of the Rauhut-Currier or Morita-Baylis-Hillman reactions.
Journal of the American Chemical Society
This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Journal of the American Chemical Society, copyright 2012 American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja303019y.
Physical Organic Chemistry