Concise synthesis of polyselenides: efficient catalysts for the oxidative cracking reaction of alkenes allowing the utilization of O2 as a partial oxidant under mild conditions†
Polyselenides were conveniently synthesized via the polymerization reaction of dihalohydrocarbons with NaHSe in just one step. The materials were highly active and could catalyze the oxidative cracking reaction of alkenes using O2 as a partial oxidant under mild conditions instead of the traditional energy consuming method. Parallel experimental results demonstrated that the substituents and chemical structures of the dihalohydrocarbon monomers prominently affected the catalytic activities of the as-prepared materials and 1,4-bis(chloromethyl)benzene was found to be the most preferable monomer. The polyselenide-catalyzed reactions proceeded via a unique free radical reaction mechanism due to the distinctive catalyst structures, in which the Se sites of the selenide moieties could not establish contact with the reaction substrate sufficiently enough to meet the requirements for an ionic reaction. These new features of the materials may draw widespread interest from chemists and broaden the horizon for the investigation of related green and energy-saving reactions.