Time-resolved study on the reactions of organic selenides with hydroxyl and oxide radicals, hydrated electrons, and H-atoms in aqueous solution, and DFT calculations of transients in comparison with sulfur analogues

Thomas Tobien, Marija Bonifacić, Sergej Naumov, Klaus-Dieter Asmus
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP 2010 July 7, 12 (25): 6750-8
A complementary experimental and quantum chemical study has been undertaken on the reactivity, formation and properties of transients generated in the reaction of selected organic selenides with hydroxyl radicals, oxide radical ions, hydrated electrons and hydrogen atoms in aqueous solution. A detailed study of the OH and O (-) reactions with Me(2)Se revealed the formation of the respective adduct-radicals as precursors of (Me(2)Se thereforeSeMe(2))(+) radical cations. In case of the neutral adduct radical Me(2)Se (OH) the conversion into the three-electron bonded dimer species proceeds, in part, via the molecular (Me(2)Se thereforeOH(2))(+) radical cation. Absolute rate constants have been determined for all the underlying processes. The respective reactions with hydrated electrons and hydrogen atoms indicate that selenides exhibit a higher reactivity towards redox-active species than sulfides. A most interesting finding is that the reaction of Me(2)Se with H atoms is faster (k = 4.1 x 10(9) M(-1) s(-1)) than the reduction by hydrated electrons (k = 2.1 x 10(8) M(-1) s(-1)), precluding an electron transfer as mechanistic background. The rationale is rather an effective dissociative attack of the hydrogen atom on the selenium. Both, the e(aq)(-)- and H -induced reductions of Me(2)Se and Me(2)S lead, under cleavage of CH(3) radicals, to the direct formation of selenol and thiol, respectively. Complementary quantum chemical studies, performed with Density Functional Theory (DFT) BHandHLYP methods, confirm this mechanism. They also reveal a generally higher thermodynamic stability of the Se-centered radicals relative to the S-centered ones, e.g., for the molecular radical anions (Me(2)Se) (-) (DeltaH-27 kJ mol(-1)) and (Me(2)S) (-) (DeltaH-16 kJ mol(-1)). Despite of these stabilization energies the calculations indicate an instantaneous Se/S-CH(3) bond lengthening in the respective molecular radical anions. The same applies for the reaction of Me(2)S and Me(2)Se with H atoms. Here the calculations indicate, in fact, no thermodynamic stability of a tentative H-adduct which, therefore, is only a fictional transition state in the H -induced CH(3)-displacement process.

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