Photolytic Studies of Malonate Carbene Intermediates
Carbene intermediates are of unique interest because of the prevalence of these molecules in interstellar space. These reactive organic intermediates are comprised of a central carbon atom with two bonds and one lone pair of electrons, and they react rapidly under standard temperatures and pressure conditions. The study of these compounds can provide researchers with information about the formation of more complicated molecules in the universe. The primary focus of this study was to conduct trapping experiments using light energy to form a carbene intermediate from a more stable precursor molecule. A trapping agent is added to the solution and reacts immediately with the unstable carbene intermediate when it is formed. The resulting products of this reaction can then be analyzed to provide information about the mechanism of formation of these products. Preliminary data from the reaction of these carbene intermediate compounds with methanol indicate a reaction with the carbene intermediate.