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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Organogermanium reactive intermediates. The direct detection and characterization of transient germylenes and digermenes in solution.

Diphenylgermylene (Ph2Ge) and its Ge=Ge doubly bonded dimer, tetraphenyldigermene (6a), have been characterized directly in solution for the first time by laser flash photolysis methods. The germylene is formed via (formal) cheletropic photocycloreversion of 3,4-dimethyl-1,1-diphenylgermacyclopent-3-ene (4a), which is shown to proceed in high chemical (>95%) and quantum yield (phi = 0.62) by steady-state trapping experiments with methanol, acetic acid, isoprene, and triethylsilane. Flash photolysis of 4a in dry deoxygenated hexane at 23 degrees C leads to the prompt formation of a transient assigned to Ph2Ge (lambda(max) = 500 nm; epsilon(max) = 1650 M(-1) cm(-1)), which decays with second-order kinetics (tau approximately 3 micros), with the concomitant growth of a second transient species that is assigned to digermene 6a (tau approximately 40 micros; lambda(max) = 440 nm). Analogous results are obtained from 1,1-dimesityl- and 1,1-dimethyl-3,4-dimethylgermacyclopent-3-ene (4b and 4c, respectively), which afford Mes2Ge (tau approximately 20 micros; lambda(max) = 560 nm) and Me2Ge (tau approximately 2 micros; lambda(max) = 480 nm), respectively, as well as the corresponding digermenes, tetramesityl- (6b; lambda(max) = 410 nm) and tetramethyldigermene (6c; lambda(max) = 370 nm). The results for the mesityl compound are compared to the analogous ones from laser flash photolysis of the known Mes2Ge/6b precursor, hexamesitylcyclotrigermane. The spectra of the three germylenes and two of the digermenes are in excellent agreement with calculated spectra, derived from time-dependent DFT calculations. Absolute rate constants for dimerization of Ph2Ge and Mes2Ge and for their reaction with n-butylamine and acetic acid in hexane at 23 degrees C are also reported.[1]


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