Questions tagged [radicals]

Radicals are highly reactive species, that have one or more unpaired electrons. Whether a species has unpaired electron(s) can be experimentally determined through electron pair resonance spectroscopy. Radicals are paramagnetic. This tag should be applied to questions that involve free radicals as a species or radicals in reactions and their mechanisms.

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274 views

Geometries of methyl and silyl radicals

The $\ce{.CH3}$ radical is planar but the $\ce{.SiH3}$ radical is a trigonal pyramid. Why are they different? After all, $\ce{C}$ and $\ce{Si}$ are in the same group.
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479 views

Radical Computational Calculations [closed]

I am trying to calculate the total energies for a particular organic molecule that undergoes radical decomposition. I was able to calculate the neutral molecule with the exact results of a paper I ...
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1k views

Formation of radicals from C-H and C-C bonds

Why do radical mechanisms favor the homolytic dissociation of a $\ce{C-H}$ bond over a $\ce{C-C}$ bond? The $\ce{C-H}$ bond is stronger in magnitude (and it's also slightly polarized), so why would ...
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1answer
153 views

Why don't electrons pair up in an oxygen radical?

In an oxygen radical (produced by the break down of O3 for instance), there are 2 unpaired electrons in the outermost subshell which make the molecule unstable. Why don't these electrons pair up which ...
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1answer
9k views

Formation of azobenzene from nitrosobenzene and N-hydroxyaniline

I'm trying to create a reasonable reaction mechanism for the reaction of nitrosobenzene and N-hydroxyaniline, which happens as part of the reduction of nitrobenzene to azobenzene using magnesium as ...
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1answer
5k views

Why is the methyl radical planar?

Why is the methyl radical planar? The VSEPR theory would predict an angle between 120 and 109.5 degrees, while it is actually 120 degrees.
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2answers
12k views

Why is O2 a biradical?

$\ce{O2}$ has a double bond in its normal form. That is $\ce{O=O}$. There are no unpaired electrons in this case are there since there are 2 lone pairs on each oxygen. However 1 resonance structure ...
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1answer
1k views

What exactly does it mean for the reaction of superoxide with non-radicals to be spin-forbidden?

From Wikipedia: The reaction of superoxide with non-radicals is spin forbidden. In biological systems, this means its main reactions are with itself (dismutation) or with another biological ...
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1answer
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What is the functional difference between a radical anion and a nucleophile?

Radical Anions are hundreds if not thousands of times more reactive than nucleophiles (right?). A radical anion is just a molecule with an unpaired electron. Where as a normal radical is missing an ...
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1answer
155 views

Redox properties of methyl radical

The methyl radical, $\ce{.CH3}$, is a strong oxidant and a strong reductant according to Wikipedia. Why is this so? Any additional reasons to the ones below? I know that an oxidant itself is ...
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1answer
3k views

Why are radicals unstable?

Why are unpaired electrons especially reactive? Does pairing electrons decrease the reactivity of the electrons? But then doesn't forcing two electrons into the same orbital cost energy?

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