Organoheteroatom compounds having a 2-(2-pyridyl)ethyl group were synthesized and their oxidation potentials were determined by rotating disk electrode voltammetry. The oxidation potentials were found to be less positive than those of the corresponding compounds having a phenyl group in place of the pyridyl group. The dynamic coordination of the pyridyl group to the heteroatom, which stabilizes the cation radical intermediate, seems to be responsible for facilitating the electron transfer. The magnitude of the intramolecular assistance increases along with an increase in the oxidation potential of the parent compounds. This tendency can be explained in terms of the energy match between the nonbonding p orbital of the pyridyl nitrogen and the HOMO of the parent heteroatom compound.
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