Diels-Alder topochemistry via charge-transfer crystals: novel (thermal) single-crystal-to-single-crystal transformations.
ABSTRACT The solid-state [4+2] cycloaddition of anthracene to bis(N-ethylimino)-1,4-dithiin occurs via a unique single-phase topochemical reaction in the intermolecular (1:1) charge-transfer crystal. The thermal heteromolecular solid-state condensation involves the entire crystal, and this rare crystalline event follows topochemical control during the entire cycloaddition. As a result, a new crystalline modification of the Diels-Alder product is formed with a crystal-packing similar to that of the starting charge-transfer crystal but very different from that of the (thermodynamically favored) product modification obtained from solution-phase crystallization. Such a single-phase transformation is readily monitored by X-ray crystallography at various conversion stages, and the temporal changes in crystallographic parameters are correlated with temperature-dependent (solid-state) kinetic data that are obtained by 1H NMR spectroscopy at various reaction times. Thus, an acceleration of the solid-state reaction over time is found which results from a progressive lowering of the activation barrier for cycloaddition in a single crystal as it slowly and homogeneously converts from the reactant to the product lattice.