The reaction between phenol and trans penta-2,4-dienyl chloride gave trans penta-2,4-dienyl Phenyl ether (I), whereas with a mixture of sorbyl chloride and 1-methylpenta-2,4-dienyl chloride, pure trans, trans hexa-2,4-dienyl phenyl ether (IV) and trans 1-methylpenta-2,4-dienyl phenyl ether (V) were obtained. The ether I gave, on heating in dilute solution at 185°, 4-(penta-2,4-dienyl)-phenol (III) as the main product, and also some 2-(2-vinylallyl)-phenol (II). The ether IV provided, on heating at 165°, in addition to the ortho CLAISEN rearrangement product VI, mainly a mixture consisting of 94% 4-(1-methylpenta-2,4-dienyl)-phenol (VIII) and only 6% 4-(hexa-2,4-dineyl)-phenol(IX). The latter product (IX) was the only para isomer produced on heating ether V, but in addition 22% of the ortho rearrangement product VII was formed.
The migrations I → III, IV → VIII, and V → IX, proceeding through a ten membered transition state, are the first [5,5] sigmatropic rearrangements described.