Diverging Effects of Steric Congestion on the Reaction of Tributylstannyl Radicals with Areneselenols and Aryl Bromides and Their Mechanistic Implications

The effects of bulky ortho,ortho‘ groups on the reactions of aryl bromides and areneselenols with tributylstannane have been studied. Bulky ortho,ortho‘ groups accelerate the reaction of the bromides with the stannane but retard the reactions of the selenols. On the other hand, ab initio and force field calculations show that introducing bulky ortho substituents into selenols causes a greater increase in strain than in the corresponding bromides. Two possible explanations for the divergent reactivity patterns are advanced. On one hand, it is possible that bromine abstraction by stannyl radicals from aryl bromides proceeds in a single step through a linear transition state whereas the abstraction of SeH from the selenols involves a T-shaped, hypervalent intermediate. Alternatively, it may be that both reactions are concerted with the bromine abstraction having a late transition state and the SeH abstraction an early one. Approximate second-order rate constants for the reaction of tributylstannane with a range of hindered aryl bromides are derived from competition reactions. 2,4,6-Tri-<i>tert</i>-butylbenzeneselenol is able to function moderately well as a catalyst for the stannane-mediated reactions of vinyl bromides. The X-ray crystal structure of bis(2,4,6-triisopropylphenyl) diselenide is presented.