The chemistry of some organotellurium compounds

  • Zahra Monsef-Mirzai

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Tbe formation of Pd(TeR)n and (CuTeR)n from the reaction
between telluroesters and Pd(II)or Cu(II) suggested that these organa­tellurium reagents may be useful precursors of RTe- ligands in reactions with transition-metal substrates.
Also the formation of telluronium salts Me2RTeI- from the reaction between telluroesters and methyl iodide, together with the above, confirm the cleavage of -cõ-Te bonds rather than -C-Te bonds.
The formation of a carboxylic acid from the toluene solution of a ditelluride d palladium(O) complex in the presence of light oxygen (from air) is demonstrated. When the solvent employed is p-xylene an aldehyde is formed.The reaction proceeds via the free radical, RTeO, with Pd(PPh3)4 as a catalyst.It has also been shown that the oxidation of aldehydes to carboxylic acids is catalysed by ditelluride.
Spin trapping experiments with PhCH=N(O)But (phenyl-t-butyl-nitrone) have provided evidence that the oxidative addition of an alkyl halide (RX=Mei, BunBr, BusecBr, ButBr, BrCH2-CH=CHCH2Br, and Br(CH2)4Br) to diphenyltelluride and reductive elimination of CH3SCN from Ph2(CH3)Te(NCS) proceeds via radical pathways. A mechanism is proposed for oxidative addition which involves the preformation of a charge transfer complex of alkyl halide and diphenyltelluride.The first step is the formation of a charge transfer complex, and the initial product of the oxidative addition is a "covalent" form of the tellurium(IV)compound. When the radical R is more stable, Ph2TeX2 may be the major tellurium(IV)product.
The reaction of RTeNa (R=p-EtOC6H4, Ph) with organic dihalides X2(CH2)n (n=1,2,3,4) affords telluronium salts (n=3,4; X=Cl, Br) the nature of which is discussed.For n=l (X=Br, I)the products are formulated as charge transfer complexes of stoichiometry (RTe)2(CH2).CH2X2• For n=2, elimination of ditelluride occurs with the formation of an alkene.
Some 125’Te Mõssbauer data are discussed and it is suggested that the unusually low value of 6 (7.58 mm.s-1 ) for  p-EtO.C6H4.Te)2(cH2)cH2Br2 relates to removal of 5's electronsfrom the spare pair orbltal via the charge transfer interaction. 125Te Mossbauer data for (p-EtO.C6H4)Te(CH2)4Br are typical of a tellurium (IV) compound and in particular ∇ is in the expected range for a telluronium salt. The product of the reaction of Na Te (C6H4.OEt), with 1,3-dibromopropane is, from the Mössbauer data, also a telluronium salt.
Date of Award1982
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorWilliam R. McWhinnie (Supervisor)


  • chemistry
  • organotellurium compounds

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