Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 2001, 66, 1593-1602

Specificity and Non-Specificity in the Sensitized CO2-Laser-Induced Reaction of Tetrachloroethene

Boyd L. Earl* and Richard L. Titus

Department of Chemistry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4003, U.S.A.


Previous workers have investigated the reaction of tetrachloroethene using thermal initiation and CO2-laser initiation via sensitizing species. In both instances, the principal product was found to be hexachlorobenzene. One group reported evidence of laser specificity in this reaction, in that BCl3 acted as a sensitizer to produce hexachlorobenzene as the principal product, but SF6 and BBr3 did not. We have found that specificity is highly dependent on reaction conditions. We reproduced the previous results using similar experimental conditions, but under different conditions, we found that the specificity is lost, with all three sensitizers which we used (BCl3, SF6, and SiF4) sensitizing the reaction to produce mainly hexachlorobenzene. There were some differences among the sensitizers, as, for example, the fact that SF6 produced the most nearly pure hexachlorobenzene product.

Keywords: Laser chemistry; Sensitizers; Specificity; Tetrachloroethene; Chloroalkenes; Chlorinated compounds.

References: 12 live references.