EPR and pulsed ENDOR study of intermediates from reactions of aromatic azides with group 13 metal trichlorides

G. Bencivenni, R. Cesari, D. Nanni, Hassane El Mkami, John Christopher Walton*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The reactions of group 13 metal trichlorides with aromatic azides were examined by CW EPR and pulsed ENDOR spectroscopies. Complex EPR spectra were obtained from reactions of aluminium, gallium and indium trichlorides with phenyl azides containing a variety of substituents. Analysis of the spectra showed that 4-methoxy-, 3-methoxy- and 2-methoxyphenyl azides all gave ‘dimer’ radical cations [ArNHC6H4NH2]+• and trimers [ArNHC6H4NHC6H4NH2]+• followed by polymers. 4-Azidobenzonitrile, with its electron-withdrawing substituent, did not react. In general the aromatic azides appeared to react most rapidly with AlCl3 but this reagent tended to generate much polymer. InCl3 was the least reactive group 13 halide. DFT computations of the radical cations provided corroborating evidence and suggested that the unpaired electrons were accommodated in extensive π-delocalised orbitals. A mechanism to account for the reductive conversion of aromatic azides to the corresponding anilines and thence to the dimers and trimers is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-725
Number of pages13
JournalBeilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2010

Keywords

  • Aluminium
  • Aromatic azides
  • ENDOR
  • EPR
  • Gallium
  • Indium

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