Synthesis and Structure of m-Terphenyl Thio-, Seleno-, and Telluroethers

Several routes for the synthesis of m-terphenyl thio-, seleno-, and telluroethers were investigated. m-Terphenyl iodides react with diphenyl diselenides or ditellurides (CsOH·H2O, DMSO, 110 °C) to give the desired compounds in 19−84% yield which significantly extends the previously reported such reactions because o-benzyne cannot be an intermediate as previously suggested. However, the most general synthetic route was that involving reaction of 2,6-diaryl Grignard reagents with sulfur, selenium, or tellurium electrophiles. The m-terphenyl thio-, seleno-, and telluroethers were characterized spectroscopically and, in one case, by single-crystal X-ray analysis. Certain of these compounds showed atropisomerism and barriers for interconversion of isomers were determined by variable-temperature NMR spectroscopy. The barriers for interconverting the syn and anti atropisomers increase on going from the analogous S to Se to Te compounds. Calculations on this isomerization revealed that the barriers are due to rotation about the aryl−aryl bond and that the barriers for rotation about the aryl−chalcogen bond are much lower.