Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.133, No.33, 13110-13120, 2011
Gating the Mechanistic Pathway to the Elusive 4-Membered Ring Azeteoporphyrin
Photolysis of metalated (Cu and Ni) and free base 2-diazo-3-oxochlorins within a frozen matrix (lambda = 457.9 nm, toluene, 80 K) generates a single photointermediate with a hypsochromically shifted electronic absorption spectrum relative to the starting diazochlorins. The appearance of ketene (similar to 2131 cm(-1)) and azete (similar to 1670 cm(-1)) vibrations in infrared absorption and Raman spectra, respectively, identifies this intermediate as resulting from the Wolff rearrangement of the diazochlorins upon N-2 loss. Computational modeling of the vibrational spectra and TDDFT simulation of the electronic transitions of potential photointermediates corroborate this assignment. Isolation and analysis of photoproducts of these diazochlorins formed within n-butanol-doped frozen toluene matrices indicate near exclusive formation of azeteoporphyrins. In sharp contrast, room temperature laser photolysis of these materials yields a mixture of photoproducts deriving from the presence of both carbene and ketene intermediates. Computational modeling of the intramolecular reactivity of the proposed sp(2) carbene intermediate shows exclusive bond insertion to the adjacent phenyl group, and no evidence of Wolff rearrangement. Computational reaction profile analyses reveal that the barrierless Wolff rearrangement proceeds via an out-of-plane carbene electronic configuration that is generated directly during the loss of N-2. The formation of out-of-plane carbene, resulting in the exclusive formation of the observed ketene photointermediate at low temperatures, is consistent with orbital symmetry considerations and by the geometric constraints imposed by the frozen matrix. Combined, this leads to a model showing that azeteoporphyrin formation via the Wolff rearrangement is dependent upon the structural disposition of the adjacent framework, and the specific reaction intermediate formed is very sensitive to this feature.