Investigation of Carbene Intermediates Through Sulfonium Ylide Precursors
Transition metal coordinated carbene intermediates are important in the formation of carbon-carbon bonds, a necessity for synthesizing many of the complex molecules we use today, including pharmaceuticals, polymers, and plastics. Analysis and isolation of the carbene intermediate proves challenging as the species is highly reactive and is difficult to isolate outside of low temperature and pressure systems, such as in interstellar space, where they are found in abundance. Sulfonium ylides provide an accessible route to forming carbene intermediates. From the purified sulfonium ylide, irradiation with light in the presence of a trapping allows for the formation of stable products that can be analyzed. Analysis of these carbene intermediates could provide useful information including new applications for these reactive intermediates.