Date of Award

Summer 2007

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Reid, Scott A.

Second Advisor

Hossenlopp, Jeanne

Third Advisor

Sem, Daniel


Carbenes are defined as neutral organic molecules featuring a divalent carbon atom that has only 6 electrons in its valence shell. The carbene carbon forms two covalent bonds and possesses two non-bonding electrons, the general formula for carbenes being R1R2C:. Carbenes have been extensively studied both experimentally and theoretically due to their importance in several areas of chemistry, such as: spectroscopy, photophysics and photochemistry, organic and organometallic reactions, combustion and thermal decomposition of small organic molecules, stratospheric and interstellar chemistry. The interest in carbenes started back in 1835, when Dumas and Peligot first attempted to prepare methylene by the dehydration of methanoi. In 1862 Geuther proposed that the basic hydrolysis of chloroform involved the intermediate formation of dichloromethylene, which is very well known at the present time to be one of the preparation methods for dichloromethylene. Although modem work in the field of methylenes began around 1910 with the research carried out by Staudinger on the decomposition of diazo compounds and ketenes, it was not until the middle of the last century that the recent growth in divalent carbon intermediates started...



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