1998 Volume 71 Issue 6 Pages 1259-1275
UV photolysis of powdered crystals of several aryl azides at cryogenic temperatures afforded azo compounds predominantly. In the cases of p-(N-methylacetamido)phenyl azide and 2-azidobiphenyl, a CH insertion product or a carbazole was formed, competing with azo formation. These products can be considered to be formed through topotactic processes when the crystal structures are taken into account. The arylnitrenes generated in the azide crystals were monitored by ESR spectroscopy; they turned out to have extremely long half life-times, compared with those in the gas phase or in solution. Such high kinetic stabilities are ascribed to the inert environment around the generated nitrenes. The decay process of arylnitrenes in the initial stage obeyed a pseudo-first order kinetics; activation parameters were evaluated by Arrhenius plots. The activation enthalpies and entropies indicate that the diffusional processes of arylnitrenes may be the vital factors determining the kinetic stability and the product distribution in the crystalline environment.
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