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I read that Friedel Craft's alkylation of naphthalene by alkyl halides having more than 2 carbons occurs at 2-position. On the other hand, with smaller halides, it occurs at the 1-position. The above statement from OP clearly indicate that the substitution selection is due to steric reasons. I'd say the above belief is derived by the most of literature ...

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The 1-isomer is the generally favoured product as it is formed via a less energetic intermediate, whereas the 2-isomer is formed via a more energetic one. The stabilization of the 1-isomer intermediate is due to the higher extent of resonance. Substitution Reactions of Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons[1] nicely sums up the point. Substitution usually ...

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