La atom reactions with 1-butene, 2-butene, and isobutene are carried out in a laser-vaporization molecular beam source. The three reactions yield the same La-hydrocarbon products from the dehydrogenation and carbon-carbon bond cleavage and coupling of the butenes. The dehydrogenated species La(C4H6) is the major product, which is characterized with mass-analyzed threshold ionization (MATI) spectroscopy and quantum chemical computations. The MATI spectrum of La(C4H6) produced from the La+1-butene reaction exhibits two band systems, whereas the MATI spectra produced from the La+2-butene and isobutene reactions display only a single band system. Each of these spectra shows a strong origin band and several vibrational progressions. The two band systems from the spectrum of the 1-butene reaction are assigned to the ionization of two isomers: La[C(CH2)3] (Iso A) and La(CH2CHCHCH2) (Iso B), and the single band system from the spectra of the 2-butene and isobutene reactions is attributed to Iso B and Iso A, respectively. The ground electronic states are 2A1 (C3v) for Iso A and 2A′ (Cs) for Iso B. The ionization of the doublet state of each isomer removes a La 6s-based electron and leads to the 1A1 ion of Iso A and the 1A′ ion of Iso B. The formation of both isomers consists of La addition to the C=C double bond, La insertion into two C(sp3)—H bonds, and H2 elimination. In addition to these steps, the formation of Iso A from the La+1-butene reaction may involve the isomerization of 1-butene to isobutene prior to the C—H bond activation, whereas the formation of Iso B from the La+trans-2-butene reaction may include the trans- to cis-butene isomerization after the C—H bond activation.
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We are grateful for the financial support from the National Science Foundation Division of Chemistry (Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanisms, Grant No. CHE-1362102). We also acknowledge additional support from the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation.
See supplementary material for the geometries of the La(C4H6) isomers and the energies of the stationary points along the reaction coordinates for the formation of La[C(CH2)3] and La(CH2CHCHCH2) formed by La atom reactions with 1-butene, 2-butene, and isobutene.
Cao, Wenjin; Hewage, Dilkrushi; and Yang, Dong-Sheng, "Lanthanum-Mediated Dehydrogenation of Butenes: Spectroscopy and Formation of La(C4H6) Isomers" (2018). Chemistry Faculty Publications. 118.
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