Sulphur-oxygen versus carbon-oxygen bond fission in the solvolysis of benzyl sulphenates

S. Braverman, D. Reisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In contrast to p-anisyl trichloromethanesulphenate 1, which readily undergoes ethanolysis at room temperature with carbon-oxygen bond fission, the ethanolysis of the corresponding 2-nitrobenzenesulphenate 2 proceeds at a similar rate only at 100°, and involves sulphur-oxygen bond cleavage. While the solvolysis of 1 showed first-order kinetics, the solvolysis of 2 was second-order (first-order with respect to ester and to added base). The solvolysis rate of 2 decreases on going from 100% to 80% ethanol and by using pyridine instead of acetate as base, consistent with an SN2 type mechanism involving nucleophilic displacement at sulphur by the base or lyate ion. The rate of solvolysis of 1 is greatly enhanced in polar solvents and correlates satisfactorily with the ionization of p-methoxyneophyl tosylate. An ionization mechanism to some ion pair species is suggested for the solvolysis of 1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3891-3896
Number of pages6
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1974


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