Spectroscopic Studies on the Structure and Conformation of Lewis Acid-Aldehyde Complexes

Scott E Denmark, Neil G. Almstead

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The complexation of aldehydes with SnCl4 and BF3 has been studied spectroscopically. It was determined by HOESY analysis that the aldehyde·SnCl4 complexes examined prefer the E geometry. This preferential complexation is likely due to steric influences from the substituents on the aldehyde. A qualitative assessment of the relative basicity of various substituted aldehydes was also determined. It was found that both 2-heptynal and n-heptanal were significantly weaker Lewis bases than either (E)-2-heptenal or 4-tert-butylbenzaldehyde. The difference in basicity between (E)- 2-heptenal and 2-heptynal is thought to arise from the electronegativity of the sp carbon atom. Finally the conformation of Lewis acid complexed and neutral (E)-2-heptenal was studied in solution. When complexed to either BF3 or SnCl4 or even uncomplexed, (E)-2-heptenal was determined by 1D-NOE studies to be in the s-trans conformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3133-3139
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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