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Dichlorocarbene is a carbene commonly encountered in organic chemistry. This reactive intermediate with chemical formula CCl2 is easily available by reaction of chloroform and a base such as potassium t-butoxide  or sodium hydroxide dissolved in water. A phase transfer catalyst for instance benzyltriethylammonium bromide is added to facilitate the migration of the hydroxide in the organic phase. Dichlorocarbene reacts with alkenes in a formal [1+2]cycloaddition to form geminal dichlorocyclopropanes which can subsequently be reduced to proper cyclopropanes or hydrolyzed to a cyclopropanone in a gem halide hydrolysis. The preparation of dichlorocarbene from chloroform and its utility in synthesis was discovered by William von Eggers Doering in 1954  based on functionalizion of cyclohexene. A Geuther in 1862 was the first to propose dichlorocarbene.
Additional recommended knowledge
The Doering-LaFlamme carbon chain extension describes the conversion of alkenes to allenes (a chain extension) with magnesium or sodium metal through initial reaction of the alkene with dichlorocarbene. The same sequence is incorporated in the Skattebøl rearrangement to cyclopentadienes. Dichlorocarbene also features in the Reimer-Tiemann reaction. Closely related is the more reactive dibromocarbene CBr2.
Other dichlorocarbene precursors are ethyl trichloracetate when reacted with sodium in methanol  and phenyl(trichloromethyl)mercury by thermal decomposition  . Dichlorodiazirine is an experimental dichlorocarbene precursor . It is stable in the dark at room temperature and decomposes into the carbene and nitrogen gas by photolysis.
The reaction mechanism for the formation of dichloroaziridine is depicted below:
Dichlorocarbene can also be obtained by reaction of carbon tetrachloride with elemental magnesium with ultrasound chemistry . This method is tolerant to esters and carbonyl compounds because it does not involve strong base.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dichlorocarbene". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|