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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Mar 1;128(8):2530-1.

Aromaticity on the pancake-bonded dimer of neutral phenalenyl radical as studied by MS and NMR spectroscopies and NICS analysis.

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Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Japan.


We have demonstrated the first MS and NMR observation of a face-to-face pi-bonded dimer of an organic radical (pancake-bonded dimer coined by R. S. Mulliken) in solution, using tri-tert-butylated phenalenyl radical 1, a 3-fold symmetric neutral hydrocarbon. In addition to the direct detection of the dimer signal by cold-spray ionization mass spectrometry (CSI-MS), 1H and 13C NMR spectra in solution gave definitive evidence of a well-defined D3d dimer structure with a 12-center-2-electron-long C-C bond formation, which is the same symmetry as seen in the crystalline state. On the basis of the NMR peaks of the dimer in the aromatic region (6.47 ppm for 1H NMR and 120-143 ppm for 13C NMR), we carried out nucleus-independent chemical shift (NICS) analysis, which showed that the ring center of the dimer became more aromatic (-7.1 ppm) than that of the monomer (-3.8 ppm). The trend of aromaticity generation was more pronounced in the interior of the dimer, which has been interpreted by the negative electron density induced in the bonding region as seen in the electrostatic potential surface.

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