Photoelectron spectroscopy study of quinonimides

E. Hossain, S.M. Deng, S. Gozem, A.I. Krylov, X.-B. Wang, and P.G. Wenthold
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139, 11138 – 11148 (2017)

Structures and energetics of o-, m- and p-quinonimide anions (OC6H4N-) and quinoniminyl radicals have been investigated by using negative ion photoelectron spectroscopy. Modeling of the photoelectron spectrum of the ortho isomer shows that the ground state of the anion is a triplet, while the quinoniminyl radical has a doublet ground state with a doublet-quartet splitting of 35.5 kcal/mol. The para radical has doublet ground state, but a band for a quartet state is missing from the photoelectron spectrum indicating that the anion has a singlet ground state, in contrast to previously reported calculations. The theoretical modeling is revisited here, and it is shown that accurate predictions for the electronic structure of the para quinonimide anion require both an accurate account of electron correlation and a sufficiently diffuse basis set. Electron affinities of o- and p-quinoniminyl radicals are measured to be 1.715+/-0.010 and 1.675+/-0.010 eV, respectively. The photoelectron spectrum of the m-quinonimide anion shows that the ion undergoes several different rearrangements, including a rearrangement to the energetically favorable para isomer. Such rearrangements preclude a meaningful analysis of the experimental spectrum.

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