Indexed on: 26 Oct '05Published on: 26 Oct '05Published in: Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Gas-phase reactions of three typical carbanions CH(2)NO(2)(-), CH(2)CN(-), and CH(2)S(O)CH(3)(-) with the chloromethanes CH(2)Cl(2), CHCl(3), and CCl(4), examined by tandem mass spectrometry, show a novel hydrogen/chlorine exchange reaction. For example, reaction between the nitromethyl anion CH(2)NO(2)(-) and carbon tetrachloride CCl(4) forms the ion CHClNO(2)(-). The suggested reaction mechanism involves nucleophilic attack by CH(2)NO(2)(-) at the chlorine of CCl(4) followed by proton transfer within the resulting complex [CH(2)ClNO(2) + CCl(3)(-)] to form CHClNO(2)(-) and CHCl(3). Two other carbanions CH(2)CN(-) and CH(2)S(O)CH(3)(-) also undergo the novel hydrogen/chlorine exchange reactions with CCl(4) but to a much smaller extent, their higher nucleophilicities favoring competitive nucleophilic attack reactions. Proton abstraction is the exclusive pathway in the reactions of these carbanions with CHCl(3). While CH(2)CN(-) and CH(2)S(O)CH(3)(-) promote mainly proton abstraction and nucleophilic displacement in reactions with CH(2)Cl(2), CH(2)NO(2)(-) does not react.