Mechanistic studies of organotellurium chemistry

  • N.K. Adlington

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The oxidation of bis(p-ethoxyphenyl) ditelluride by hydrogen peroxide has been studied kinetically. The reaction monitored was an oxidation from tellurium(I) to tellurium(II). The reaction stoichiometry ratio was found to depend upon the initial reagent concentrations. The presence of dioxygen was found to retard the rate and attributed to a dioxygen-ditelluride adduct. The rate varies in the following order of different atmospheres N2> Air> > O2. The final product obtained from the oxidation has been characterised by IR, NMR and ESR spectroscopy. A mechanism for the oxidation has been suggested.
The reduction of p-EtOPhTeCl3 by the hydrazinium ion has been studied kinetically. The stoichiometric measurements show that four moles p-EtOPhTeCl3 are equivalent to three moles hydrazinium ion. The kinetics were studied under pseudo first order conditions. No ammonia was detected as a nitrogen containing product. The reduction proceeds via a two-electron process which indicates that it is inner-sphere in nature. A mechanism for the reduction is suggested.
The solvolysis of p-EtOPhTeCl3 by methanol in benzene/methanol media has been studied. The study shows that the solvolysis is a reversible, acid catalysed reaction. Replacement of the chlorides on tellurium by methanol is agreed to be associative and replacement of the first chloride is rate determining. The rate of solvolysis varies in the order trichloride > tribromide > triiodide. A mechanism for the solvolysis is suggested.
The synthesis of some tellurium heterocyclics is reported. The synthesis and characterisation of telluranthrene is reported. The attempted synthesis of telluraxanthene was unsuccessful.
Date of AwardMar 1988
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJ.D. Miller (Supervisor)


  • tellurium
  • kinetics
  • oxidation
  • solvolysis
  • reduction

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