Posts Tagged ‘Jahn-Teller distortion’

The mechanism of the Birch reduction. Sequel to benzene reduction.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

I noted briefly in discussing why Birch reduction of benzene gives 1,4-cyclohexadiene (diagram below) that the geometry of the end-stage pentadienyl anion was distorted in the presence of the sodium cation to favour this product. This distortion actually has some pedagogic value, and so I elaborate this here.