Free-Radical Reactions

  • Francis A. Carey
  • Richard J. Sundberg


A free-radical reaction is a chemical process in which molecules having unpaired electrons are involved. The radical species could be a starting compound or a product, but in organic chemistry, the most common cases are reactions that involve radicals as intermediates. Most of the reactions discussed to this point have been heterolytic processes involving polar intermediates or transition states in which all electrons remain paired throughout the course of the reaction. In radical reactions, homolytic bond cleavages occur. The generalized reactions shown below illustrate the formation of alkyl, vinyl, and aryl free radicals by homolytic processes:


Unpaired Electron Radical Intermediate Hydrogen Abstraction Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Study Hydrogen Bromide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis A. Carey
    • 1
  • Richard J. Sundberg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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