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Issue 27, 2013
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Thiol–ene coupling kinetics of d-limonene: a versatile ‘non-click’ free-radical reaction involving a natural terpene

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The free-radical photoinduced thiolene reaction between D-limonene, as renewable diolefinic substrate, and two mono-/tri-functional thiols (iso-tridecyl 3-mercaptopropionate and trimethylolpropane tris(3-mercaptopropionate)), has been investigated kinetically to define a relationship between alkene structure and reactivity. Separate thiol–ene solutions of the appropriate thiol in d-chloroform, supplemented with 1.0 wt% of DMPA (Irgacure 651), were subjected to polychromatic UV-irradiation and the chemical changes monitored discontinuously via1H NMR spectroscopy to quantify double bond conversion. The kinetic concentration profiles were modeled analytically and simulated in the application software COPASI for parameter estimation and to verify if the experimental data explained a suggested mechanistic scheme. Empirical results demonstrate that the external vinylidene bond of limonene reacts about 6.5 times faster with thiol than the internal trisubstituted 1-methyl-cyclohexene unsaturation. The selectivity observed for the two unsaturations was successfully explained by means of a simplified steady-state equation derived from the sequential reaction mechanism accounting for propagation and chain-transfer elementary steps with estimated rate coefficients. Kinetic modeling results attribute the difference in selectivity partially to steric impediments controlling thiyl-radical insertion onto the double bonds and predominantly to differences in relative energy between the two tertiary insertion carbon radical intermediates. The rate-limiting step was identified as the third chain-transfer hydrogen-abstraction reaction promoted by the second insertion carbon radical intermediate. High thiol–ene conversions were obtained in a timely fashion without major influence of secondary reactions demonstrating the suitability of this reaction for network forming purposes. The mechanistic and kinetic information collected can be used as a quantitative predictive tool to assess the potential use of D-limonene in thiol–ene network forming systems involving multifunctional alkyl ester 3-mercaptopropionates.

Graphical abstract: Thiol–ene coupling kinetics of d-limonene: a versatile ‘non-click’ free-radical reaction involving a natural terpene

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Supplementary files

Article information

08 Feb 2013
04 Apr 2013
First published
08 Apr 2013

This article is Open Access

RSC Adv., 2013,3, 11021-11034
Article type

Thiol–ene coupling kinetics of D-limonene: a versatile ‘non-click’ free-radical reaction involving a natural terpene

M. Claudino, M. Jonsson and M. Johansson, RSC Adv., 2013, 3, 11021
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA40696B

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