Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1988, 53, 2140-2158

Sulfenic acids in the gas phase. Preparation, ionization energies and heats of formation of methane-, ethene-, and benzenesulfenic acid

František Turečeka, Libor Brabeca, Tomáš Vondráka, Vladimír Hanuša, Josef Hájíčekb and Zdeněk Havlasc

a The J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 182 23 Prague 8
b Research Institute for Pharmacy and Biochemistry, 130 00 Prague 3
c Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 166 10 Prague 6


Methane-, ethene-, and ethynesulfenic acids were generated in the gas phase by flash-vacuum pyrolysis of the corresponding tert-butyl sulfoxides at 400 °C and 10-4 Pa. Benzenesulfenic acid was prepared from phenyl 3-buten-1-yl sulfoxide at 350 °C and 10-4 Pa. The sulfenic acids were characterized by mass spectrometry Threshold ionization energies (IE) were measured as IE(CH3SOH) = 9·07 ± 0·03 eV, IE(CH2=CHSOH) = 8·70 ± 0·03 eV, IE(HCCSOH) = 8·86 ± 0·04 eV, and IE(C6H5SOH) = 8·45 + 0·03 eV. Radical cations [CH3SOH].+, [CH2=CHSOH].+, and [HCCSOH].+ were generated by electron-impact-induced loss of propene from the corresponding propyl sulfoxides and their heats of formation were assessed by appearance energy measurements as 685, 824, and 927 kJ mol-1, respectively. Heats of formation of the neutral sulfenic acids and the S-(O) (C), S-(O) (Cd), S-(O) (Ct) and S-(O) (CB) group equivalents were determined. The experimental data, supported by MNDO calculations, point to sulfenate-like structures (R-S-OH) for the sulfenic acids under study.