Faculté des sciences

Carbocations generated under stable conditions by ionization of matrix-Isolated radicals: the allyl and benzyl cations

Mišić, Vladimir ; Piech, Krzysztof ; Bally, Thomas

In: Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2013, vol. 135, no. 23, p. 8625–8631

Carbocations are crucial intermediates in many chemical reactions; hence, considerable effort has gone into investigating their structures and properties, for example, in superacids, in salts, or in the gas phase. However, studies of the vibrational structure of carbocations are not abundant, because their infrared spectra are difficult to obtain in superacids or salts (where furthermore the... Plus

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    Summary
    Carbocations are crucial intermediates in many chemical reactions; hence, considerable effort has gone into investigating their structures and properties, for example, in superacids, in salts, or in the gas phase. However, studies of the vibrational structure of carbocations are not abundant, because their infrared spectra are difficult to obtain in superacids or salts (where furthermore the cations may be perturbed by counterions), and the generation of gas-phase carbocations in discharges usually produces several species. We have applied the technique of ionizing neutral compounds by X-irradiation of cryogenic Ar matrices to radicals embedded in such matrices, thus producing closed-shell cations that can be investigated leisurely, and in the absence of counterions or other perturbing effects, by various forms of spectroscopy. This Article describes the first set of results that were obtained by this approach, the IR spectra of the allyl and the benzyl cation. We use the information obtained in this way, together with previously obtained data, to assess the changes in chemical bonding between the allyl and benzyl radicals and cations, respectively.