The mechanism of the dehydrogenation of tetrahydrocarbazole to carbazole over palladium has been examined for the first time. By use of a combination of deuterium exchange experiments and density functional theory calculations, a detailed reaction profile for the aromatization of tetrahydrocarbazole has been identified and validated by experiment. As with many dehydrogenation reactions, the initial hydrogen abstraction is found to have the highest reaction barrier. Tetrahydrocarbazole has four hydrogens which can, in principle, be cleaved initially; however, the theory and experiment show that the reaction is dominated by the cleavage of the carbon hydrogens at the carbon atoms in positions 1 and 4. The two pathways originating from these two C-H bond cleavage processes are found to have similar reaction energy profiles and both contribute to the overall reaction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films