Silicon based radicals, radical ions, diradicals and diradicaloids
Radicals are an important class of species which act as intermediates in numerous chemical and biological processes. Most of the radicals have short lifetimes. However, radicals with longer lifetimes can be isolated and stored in a pure form. They are called stable radicals. Over the last five decades, the syntheses of several stable radicals have been reported. Recently, highly unstable radicals have been successfully stabilized via strong σ-donation of singlet carbenes. Cyclic aklyl(amino) carbene (cAAC) is regarded as a stronger σ-donor and a better π-acceptor when compared with that of an N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC). In this article we review preferentially the results of our group to generate stable radical centers on the carbene carbon atoms by employing the so far hidden and unique ability of the cAACs. We focus on the development of new synthetic routes to stable and isolable radicals containing silicon atoms. All the compounds have been well characterized by single crystal X-ray analysis; the mono-radicals have been distinguished by EPR spectroscpy and the ground state of the diradicals has been studied by magnetic susceptibility measurements and theoretical calculations. Many of these compounds are studied by cyclic voltammetry and are often converted to their corresponding radical cations or radical anions via electron abstraction or addition processes. Some of them are stable, having long lifetimes and hence are isolated and characterized thoroughly. Not much information has been obtained on the short lived persistent radical species. Herein, we discuss some of the examples of such a type of species and focus on what kind of chemical reactions are initiated by these short-lived radical species in solution. We also briefly mention the syntheses and charaterization of the so far reported stable silicon centered radicals.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Modern Main Group Chemistry