First Advisor

Raymond P. Lutz

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Chemistry






Cope rearrangement, Aluminum oxide, Biphenyl compounds



Physical Description

1 online resource (52 p.)


The alumina-catalyzed Cope rearrangements of meso- and dl-3,4-diphenylhexa-1,5-diene were examined in detail, following up a preliminary observation by H. Berg at Portland State University. Commercial column-chromatography grade alumina was employed, and was further activated before heating at 650-700° for four hours.

Using a ratio of 20 mg of dl-3,4-diphenylhex-l,5-diene to 1 g of alumina in heptane, the Cope rearrangement was complete within 15 minutes at room temperature to give exclusively trans,trans-1,6-diphenylhexa-1,5-diene. This was melting point, infrared spectroscopy and vapor phase chromatography

The catalyzed rearrangement of meso-3,4-diphenylhexa-l,5-diene was run using the same diene to alumina ratio. It was found that 31% of the meso-diene was converted to cis,trans- and trans,trans-l,6-diphenylhexa-1,5-diene at room temperature in four hours. Product iso-merization appeared to take place; the initial ratio of cis,trans-diene to trans,trans-diene was estimated to be 73:27. Another run was carried out at 60°, where the problem of isomerization of cis,trans-diene to trans,trans-diene was more pronounced. The rearrangement gave cis, trans-diene and trans,trans-diene in a ratio of 58:42, as estimated by extrapolation of the product ratio to zero time. Approximately 95% of meso-diene had reacted in one hour at this temperature. The extent of conversion of mes-diene was calculated by quantitative infrared spectroscopy, and the isomeric distribution of products was determined by vapor phase chromatography.

The product distribution in the alumina-catalyzed rearrangements parallels that of the thermal Cope rearrangement, where dl-diene gives exclusively trans,trans-diene at 80° with a half-life of eight hours and meso-diene gives 63% cis,trans-diene and 27% trans,trans-diene at 120° with a half-life of 15 hours.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Chemistry Commons