The photochemistry of 1,4-benzoquinone (BQ) and alkyl-, Cl- and related derivatives, e.g. methyl-, 2,6-dimethyl-, chloro-, 2,5-dichloro-1,4-benzoquinone, duroquinone and chloranil, was studied in nonaqueous solvents by UV–vis spectroscopy using nanosecond laser pulses at 308 nm. The reactivity of the triplet state (3Q*) of the quinones with 2-propanol in the absence of water is largest for BQ and depends mainly on the quinone structure, whereas the rate constant of electron transfer from amines, such as triethylamine (TEA) or 1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane, is close to the diffusion-controlled limit for BQ and most derivatives. Photoinduced charge separation after electron transfer from amines to 3Q* and the subsequent charge recombination or neutralization are supported by time-resolved conductivity measurements. The half-life of the decay kinetics of the semiquinone radical ( •QH/Q•–) depends significantly on the donor and the medium. The photoconversion into the hydroquinones was measured under various conditions, the quantum yield, λirr = 254 nm, increases with increasing 2-propanol and TEA concentrations. The effects of quenching of 3Q*, the •QH/Q•– radicals and the photoconversion are outlined. The mechanisms of photoreduction of quinones in acetonitrile by 2-propanol are compared with those by TEA in benzene and acetonitrile, and the specific properties of substitution are discussed.
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Vol. 78 • No. 5