Dicarbomethoxycarbene can be generated by photolysis of S−C sulfonium ylides derived from thiophene. By manipulating the thiophene (leaving group) portion of the ylide, the initial spin distribution of the carbenes can be strongly influenced. With certain carbene traps, product distributions from dicarbomethoxycarbene depend on the initial spin state distribution in which the carbene is generated and this is used as a means to report on the initial spin state distributions. This approach should be general for other carbenes generated from analogous precursors.
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