The acianion CH2:NO2- was used as a spin trap for org. radicals generated in aq. soln. by reactions of .bul.OH radicals or SO4.bul.- radical anions with alcs., ethers, acetals, carbonyl compds., carboxylate ions, esters, and halogen compds. The resulting species were identified by ESR, confirmation being obtained where necessary by independent generation of the species from the appropriate nitro compd. and .bul.CMe2OH radicals. Splitting was obsd. not only from the b-methylene protons in RCH2NO2.bul.- but also in almost all cases from g-protons and, in some cases, from d-protons; aN and aH (b-CH2) depend upon structure. For radicals XCYZCH2NO2.bul.-, the splittings of the 2 b-methylene protons are unequal as a result of the chirality of the neighboring C atom. Information was obtained about reaction mechanisms, as in comparison of the reactions of .bul.OH and SO4.bul.- with carboxylate ions and of those of Cl(CH2)2OH and I(CH2)2OH with .bul.OH.
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