Regioisomeric allene dimer formation by the reaction of tetraarylbutatrienes with tetracyanoethene
The reaction of tetraarylbutatrienes (tetraarylcumulenes) with tetracyanoethene (TCNE), a strong electron-accepting molecule, at room temperature yielded novel four-membered ring compounds (head-to-tail unsymmetrically substituted diarylallene dimers) by [2 + 2] cycloaddition of the central CC bond of the butatrienes. This reaction proceeded through a head-to-head symmetrically substituted diarylallene dimer intermediate. Unsymmetrical butatriene also formed a small amount of another head-to-tail dimer. Although the allene dimer is stable in nonpolar solvents, it converts to other bicyclic and tricyclic compounds in MeOH or CH3CN at room temperature.