A complex role for chlorine radicals

2021 
Organic Chemistry Radicals are atoms or molecules that are highly reactive because they have an unpaired electron. A common means of investigating whether they are involved in a particular reaction is to try to trap them with an acceptor compound. Yang et al. reinvestigated a photoinduced alkane oxidation reaction for which a trapping study had previously implicated alkoxy radicals. Their spectroscopic, kinetic, and isotopic labeling studies revealed that chlorine, rather than alkoxy, was the key radical intermediate; the prior trapping results had stemmed from its complexation with alcohols. Science , abd8408, this issue p. [847][1] [1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.abd8408
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