Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1987, 52, 970-979

Conformation and electronic structure of aromatic chloroformates

Otto Exner and Pavel Fiedler

Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 166 10 Prague 6


Aromatic chloroformates Ib-Ie were shown to exist in the ap conformation, in agreement with aliphatic chloroformates, i.e. the alkyl group is situated cis to the carbonyl oxygen atom as it is the case in all esters. While 4-nitrophenyl chloroformate (Ie) is in this conformation in crystal, in solution at most several tenths of percent of the sp conformation may be populated at room temperature and in nonpolar solvents only. A new analysis of dipole moments explained the previous puzzling results and demonstrated the impossibility to determine the conformation by this single method, in consequence of the strong interaction of adjoining bonds. If, however, the ap conformation is once proven, the dipole moments reveal some features of the electron distribution on the functional group, characterized by the enhanced polarity of the C-Cl bond and reduced polarity of the C=O bond. This is in agreement with the observed bond lengths and angles.