Haloarene or aryl halide is a chemical compound containing arenas, where one or more hydrogen atoms are bonded to the aromatic ring and are replaced with halogens. They are generally denoted by “Ar-X” where ‘X’ denotes the halogen atom attached and ‘Ar’ stands for the aryl group. Some reactions of aryl halides are discussed below.
The reaction of Aryl halide – Electrophilic Substitution Reaction
Electrophile refers to an electron-seeking species. Thus, electrophilic substitution reaction refers to the reaction in which an electrophile substitutes another electrophile in an organic compound. Aryl halide undergoes the usual electrophilic reactions of the benzene ring such as halogenation, nitration, sulphonation and Friedel-Crafts reactions. We will discuss them one by one, but let’s first understand the behaviour of aryl halide towards the attack of an electrophile:
- Due to the –I effect (electron withdrawing nature) of halogen, the benzene ring gets somewhat deactivated towards electrophilic substitution reaction.
- Due to its various resonating structures, there’s an excess of an electron or negative charge over ortho- and para- positions of the ring than the meta-position. Thus, aryl halide is o- and p- directive towards electrophilic substitution reaction.
Due to the above reasons, an aryl halide is somewhat more deactivated than a normal benzene ring towards the electrophilic substitution reaction. Thus, these reactions occur slowly and require more drastic conditions as compared to those in benzene.
Table of Contents
In the above reaction when an aryl halide comes into the vicinity of chlorine in the presence of ferric chloride as a solvent, then the chlorine molecule develops a polarity within itself and the chlorine with a slightly positive charge acts as an electrophile (electron-seeking) and attacks the electron-rich ortho and para positions of aryl halide. Both ortho and para compounds are formed out of which para isomer is the major product and ortho isomer is the minor product.
In this reaction, the first NO2 is formed from nitric acid which is initiated by the presence of sulphuric acid. NO2 has an electrophilic centre over N due to the presence of two electronegative oxygen atoms in the molecule. NO2 attacks the electron-rich ortho and para positions and we get para isomer as the main product and ortho isomer as the minor product.
In this reaction, SO3 formed from sulphuric acid acts as an electrophile. SO3 attacks the electron-rich ortho and para positions of the aryl halide, out of which para isomer is obtained as the major product and ortho isomer as the minor product.
In this reaction, the alkyl or carbonyl group acts as an electrophile due to the presence of a positive charge over the carbon atom. These groups attack the electron-rich ortho and para positions of the aryl halide. The para isomer of the product is obtained as the major product and ortho as the minor product.
Reactions of Aryl halide with Metal
- Wurtz-Fittig reaction: When a mixture of alkyl halide and aryl halide is treated with sodium in dry ether alkylarene is formed. This reaction is known as a Wurtz-Fitting reaction.
- Fittig reaction: When haloarenes are treated with sodium in dry ether, two aryl groups get joined together. This reaction is known as the Fittig reaction.
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