Conformational behavior and tautomer selective photochemistry in low temperature matrices: the case of 5-(1H-tetrazol-1-yl)-1,2,4-triazole.
The conformational properties and the photolysis behavior of one of the simplest N–C bonded bicyclic azoles, 5-(1H-tetrazol-1-yl)-1,2,4-triazole (T), were studied in argon and xenon matrices by infrared spectroscopy. Analysis of the experimental results was supported by extensive theoretical calculations carried out at the B3LYP/6-311++G(2d,2p) level of approximation. Out of the eight T minima located on the potential energy surface, the three most stable species were detected in low temperature matrices, namely, 5-(1H-tetrazol-1-yl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole (T1) and two conformers of 5-(1H-tetrazol-1-yl)-2H-1,2,4-triazole (T2a and T2b). With increase of the substrate temperature either during deposition of the matrices or during annealing the T2b → T2a conversion took place, in agreement with the predicted low energy barrier for this transformation (5.38 kJ mol–1). Both broad band and narrow band laser UV irradiations of T isolated in Xe and Ar matrices induce unimolecular decomposition involving cleavage of the tetrazole ring of T1 and T2a (T2b) that leads to the production of 1H-1,2,4-triazol-5-yl carbodiimide (P1) and 1H-1,2,4-triazol-3-yl carbodiimide (P2), respectively. When the laser is used, in addition to the main P1 and P2 photoproducts, several minor products could be successfully identified in the matrices: N-cyanocarbodiimide HNCNCN (detected for the first time) associated with nitrilimine HNNCH and HCN. An interesting phenomenon of tautomer-selective photochemistry was observed for the matrix-isolated compound. It could be explained by the different LUMO–HOMO energy gaps estimated for T1, T2a, and T2b, connected with different threshold energies necessary to start the photolysis of T1 and T2a (T2b).