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J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Mar 2;133(8):2342-5. doi: 10.1021/ja109494b. Epub 2011 Feb 7.

Oxyallyl exposed: an open-shell singlet with picosecond lifetimes in solution but persistent in crystals of a cyclobutanedione precursor.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1559, USA.


Photoinduced decarbonylation of 2,4-bis(spirocyclohexyl)-1,3-cyclobutanedione 1 in the crystalline solid state resulted in formation of a deep blue transient with λ(max) = 550 nm and a half-life of 42 min at 298 K, identified as kinetically stabilized oxyallyl. Support for an open-shell singlet species was obtained by spectroscopic analysis and (4/4) CASSCF calculations with the 6-31+G(d) basis set and multireference MP2 corrections. The electronic spectrum of the singlet biradical, confirmed by femtosecond pump-probe studies in solution, was matched by coupled cluster calculations with single and double corrections.

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