Dibenzothiophene-5-oxide (DBTO) cleanly produces dibenzothiophene (DBT) on direct photolysis, but with very low quantum yield. A proposed mechanism involves scission of the S−O bond which is coupled to an intersystem crossing step, thus producing the sulfide and O(3P) via a unimolecular pathway. To test this hypothesis, heavy atom substituted DBTOs were prepared and photolyzed. Iodo-, bromo-, and chloro-substituted DBTOs show higher quantum yields for deoxygenation than does the parent molecule, in the order consistent with an intersystem crossing-related heavy atom effect. 2-Iododibenzothiophene also undergoes photochemical deiodination. Phosphorescence data are consistent with heavy-atom assisted intersystem crossing.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/william_jenks/24/