# sp2 hybridisation of alkyl radicals causing formation of racemic mixture

What I know about $$\ce{^{.}CR3}$$ radical is that it has both $$\ce{sp^2}$$ and $$\ce{sp^3}$$ character but the $$\ce{sp^2}$$ character dominates and so the radical is $$\ce{sp^2}$$ in nature.

So, suppose we have the above situation. In this, a radical is formed at the carbon of the 6 membered ring at which one $$\ce{-CH3}$$ is attached since the bromination is selective, but will it form enantiomers? That is, can the $$\ce{^{.}Br}$$ radical attack from both sides?

In this question, the answer given is (c), but I think that enantiomers can not form, as the electron of the radical would be present only on one side of the radical carbon, and so cannot migrate to other side.

In the first step, due to the selectivity of bromine in a free radical reaction, the tertiary carbon which has a $$\ce{-CH3}$$ group attached to it forms the radical.

Now, since the radical is a $$\ce{^{.}CR3}$$ radical, the carbon radical in the intermediate becomes $$\ce{sp^2}$$. This means that $$\ce{^{.}Br}$$ can attack from both the top and the bottom since this lone electron in the $$\ce{^{.}CR3}$$ radical is in a p-orbital. This is because the electron is equally likely to be found in both lobes of the orbital.

Now after the attack of the $$\ce{^{.}Br}$$ radical, you get two products. The first one shows the product formed when $$\ce{^{.}Br}$$ attacks from the bottom and the second one shows the product formed after the $$\ce{^{.}Br}$$ attacks the intermediate from the top.

You may have noticed that both products are enantiomers of each other and hence the answer would be (c).

Reference Chem Libretexts