The chemistry of localized singlet 1,3-diradicals (biradicals): from putative intermediates to persistent species and unusual molecules with a π-single bonded character
Localized singlet diradicals (biradicals) are key intermediates in chemical reactions involving homolytic bond-cleavage and formation processes. The molecular structure and electronic structure had been historically elusive due to the short-lived character of the reactive intermediates. In the last 15 years, a significant development of singlet diradical chemistry was achieved after the pioneering findings of long-lived singlet diradicals. In this tutorial review, the recent development of localized singlet diradical chemistry is summarized and discussed. The following subjects are included (a) the mechanism by which the ground state spin-multiplicity of localized 1,3-diradicals is controlled; (b) the substituent and heteroatom effect on the most stable electronic configuration of the singlet 1,3-diradicals, type-1 versus type-2; (c) the molecular design for the long-lived singlet ground state diradicals; (d) the generation and characterization of the singlet diradicals; and (e) the future prospects.