Exploitation of aldoxime esters as radical precursors in preparative and EPR spectroscopic roles

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Photolyses of aldoxime esters, containing a considerable range of alkyl groups, lead to cleavage of their N-O bonds and formation of aryliminyl and alkyl radicals. The process was found to be favoured by 4-methoxyacetophenone as a photosensitiser and by methoxy substituents in the aryl rings. 4-Nitro- and pentafluoro-substitutions of the aryl rings were, on the other hand, deleterious. The intermediate iminyl radicals, together with primary, secondary and tertiary alkyl radicals were characterised by 9 GHz EPR spectroscopy. Cyclopropyl, CF3, and CCl3 radicals were probably also formed, but were too reactive for direct EPR spectroscopic detection. Photosensitised reaction of benzophenone oxime O-nonanoyl ester produced the diphenylmethaniminoxyl, as well as the expected n-octyl and iminyl radicals. This indicated that O-C bond scission accompanied O-N scission for this ketoxime ester.

At higher temperatures the C-centred radicals added to the starting oxime esters to produce alkoxyaminyl radicals that were also spectroscopically detected in some cases. No evidence for abstraction of the iminyl hydrogen by tert-butoxyl radicals was obtained. Instead, the t-BuO. radicals added to the C=N double bonds of the oxime esters. Similarly, chlorine abstraction from alkylbenzohydroximoyl chlorides by trimethyltin radicals did not take place. Preparative scale experiments with oxime esters containing suitably unsaturated alkyl groups showed that good yields of cyclised products could be obtained in the presence of the photosensitiser. This process constitutes a general method by which carboxylic acids or acid chlorides can be converted into alkyl radicals and hence to cyclised derivatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2399-2409
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Society, Perkin Transactions 2
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2000




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