Wavelength-Controlled Dynamic Metathesis: A Light-Driven Exchange Reaction Between Disulfide and Diselenide Bonds

Fuqiang Fan, Shaobo Ji, Chenxing Sun, Cheng Liu, Ying Yu, Yu Fu and Huaping Xu

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2018, 57, 16426-16430.

Though wavelength-controlled dynamic processes have been well developed, they mostly consist of light-triggered isomerization or the cleavage/formation of molecular connections. Control over dynamic metathesis reactions by different light wavelengths, which would be useful in controllable dynamic chemistry, has rarely been studied. Herein, taking advantage of the different bond energies of disulfide bonds and diselenide bonds, we realized a wavelength-driven exchange reaction between disulfides and diselenides. These molecules underwent metathesis under UV light to produce Se-S bonds. When irradiated by specific visible light, the Se-S bonds were reversed to the original reactants. The conversions of the exchange reaction were found to depend on the wavelength of light, and the exchange mechanism was studied. This light-driven metathesis chemistry was also applied to tune mechanical properties of polymer materials. Furthermore, the visible light-induced reverse reaction was compatible with reductant catalyzed disulfide/diselenide metathesis and provides the potential for a dissipative system using light as the input energy.

Fan FQ Angew 2018