| GOLD BOOK DEFINITION
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the “Gold Book”). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A.Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997).
The cleavage of a bond ('homolytic cleavage' or 'homolytic fission') so that each of the molecular fragments between which the bond is broken retains one of the bonding electrons. A unimolecular reaction involving homolysis of a bond (not forming part of a cyclic structure) in a molecular entity containing an even number of (paired) electrons results in the formation of two radicals:
It is the reverse of colligation. Homolysis is also commonly a feature of bimolecular substitution reactions (and of other reactions) involving radicals and molecules.
See also: bond-dissociation energy, heterolysis
Source: PAC, 1994, 66, 1077 (Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)) on page 1122
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