Preparation and conformation of octaethylbiphenylene

M. Taha, V. Marks, H. E. Gottlieb*, S. E. Biali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Dimerization of tetraethylbenzyne (generated by reaction of 1,2-dibromo-3,4,5,6-tetraethylbenzene (8) with 1 equiv of BuLi) afforded in low yield octaethylbiphenylene (3), together with a major product which was characterized as 2,3,4,5,3',4',5'-heptaethyl-2'-vinylbiphenyl (9). X-ray diffraction indicates that biphenylene 3 adopts in the crystal a conformation of approximate C(2h) symmetry with the ethyl groups within each phenylene ring arranged in an alternated up-down fashion. Notably, pairs of vicinal ethyl groups located at peri positions are oriented in a syn arrangement in the crystal. Low temperature NMR spectroscopy is consistent with the presence in solution of either the crystal conformation or a fully alternated conformation lacking any syn interaction. Molecular mechanics (MM3), semiempirical (AM1, PM3), and ab initio calculations indicate that the crystal conformation is a high energy form, and that the lowest energy conformation is the fully alternated form. The topomerization barrier of the methylene protons of the ethyl groups of 3 is 9.4 ± 0.1 kcal mol-1, which is between the rotational barriers of 8 and 1,2,3,4-tetraethylbenzene 7 (9.9 ± 0.1 and 8.2 ± 0.1 kcal mol-1, respectively). The similarity in rotational barriers suggests that a given tetraethylphenylene subunit does not markedly affect the rotational barrier of the ethyl groups of the other subunit.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)8621-8628
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2000


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