Archive for the 'Tunneling' Category

Looking at “stability” – the role of tunneling

1 is notable for its very short central C-C bond, computed at B1B95/6-31G(d) to be only 1.30 Å. Also notable is that 1 can rearrange to the carbene 2 with a release of considerable energy (ΔE=-105.4 kcal mol-1). Nonetheless, the barrier for this rearrangement is 6.7 kcal mol-1 suggesting that 1 might be stable and isolable at low temperatures. (See this previous post for more discussion on this rearrangement, including interactive molecules.)

Kozuch has now examined this rearrangement in more detail, to see if 1 is really stable.1 The issue he raises is the role of quantum mechanical tunneling – since the distance that the carbon atoms need to move in reaching the TS is rather small, perhaps heavy atom tunneling might manifest. In the absence of tunneling, conventional variation transition state theory (CVT) predicts that the half-life of 1 is 170 s at 75 K, and longer still at even lower temperatures. However, the situation is radically different when tunneling is included. Accounting for tunneling using the small curvature tunneling (SCT) approximation predicts a half-life of 1.6 x 10-3 s at 75 K and only a minimally longer half-life of 4.6 x 10-3s at 10 K. Thus, Kozuch concludes that 1 is not stable at any temperature! One should thus be cautious in applying the term “stable” to a compound that might be quite strained and susceptible to tunneling.

(As an aside, Kozuch also notes that 2 can rearrange into 3 and this rearrangement also has a very short half-life on the order of milliseconds at cryogenic temperatures. The structure of 3 is shown in Figure 1.)

Figure 1. B1B95/6-31G(d) optimized structure of 3.

References

1) Kozuch, S. “A Quantum Mechanical “Jack in the Box”: Rapid Rearrangement of a Tetrahedryl-Tetrahedrane via Heavy Atom Tunneling,” Org. Lett., 2014, 16, 4102-4105, DOI: 10.1021/ol5017977.

InChIs

1: InChI=1S/C14H12/c1-2-8-11-5-3-9-7(1)10(9)4-6-12(8,11)14(8,11)13(7,9)10/h1-6H2
InChIKey=LNBZAENQMFDBJW-UHFFFAOYSA-N

2: InChI=1S/C14H12/c1-3-11-12-4-2-9-7-8(1,9)10(9)5-6-13(11,12)14(10,11)12/h1-6H2
InChIKey=UKVODHRLGFPZPT-UHFFFAOYSA-N

3: InChI=1S/C14H12/c1-2-10-8-12(10)4-3-11-7-9(1,11)13(11)5-6-14(10,12)13/h1-6H2
InChIKey=AATRYSJRWFKWAY-UHFFFAOYSA-N

Tunneling Steven Bachrach 22 Sep 2014 No Comments

Another example of tunneling control

The notion of tunneling control has been a topic of interest within this blog a number of times. As developed by Schreiner and Allen,1,2 tunneling control is a third means for predicting (or directing) the outcome of a reaction, alongside the more traditionally recognized kinetic and thermodynamic control. Tunneling control occurs when tunneling through a higher barrier is preferred over tunneling through a lower barrier.

Kozuch and Borden propose another example of tunneling control, this time in the rearrangement of the noradamantyl carbene 1.3 This carbene can undergo a 1,2-carbon shift, driven by strain relief to form the alkene 2. The alternative as a 1,2-hydrogen shift that produces the alkene 3.

These two reaction pathways were explored using B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) computations coupled with canonical variational theory and small curvature tunneling corrections. Structures of the reactant 1 and the two transition states leading to the two products 2 and 3 are shown in Figure 1. The activation barrier at 300 K is 5.4 kcal mol-1 leading to 2 and 8.6 kcal mol-1 leading to 3. Tunneling is expected to be much more important for the hydrogen shift than for the carbon shift, but even including tunneling, the rate to form 2 is much faster than the rate to form 3 at 300 K.

1

TS 1→2

2

TS 1→3

3

Figure 1. B3LYP/6 optimized structures of 1-3 and the transition states leading to 2 and 3.

The situation is reversed however at cryogenic temperatures (< 20 K). Tunneling is now the only route for the reactions to occur, and the rate for formation of 3 is dramatically greater than the rate of formation of 2, which is inhibited by the movement of the much heavier carbon atom. Perdeuteration of the methyl group of 1, which drastically slows the rate of tunneling in the path to 3, nonetheless still favors this pathway (forming d3-3) over formation of d3-2. Thus, at low temperatures the formation of 3 is the preferred product, a manifestation of tunneling control.

Kozuch and Borden end their paper with a hope that an experimentalist will examine this interesting case. I concur!

References

(1) Schreiner, P. R.; Reisenauer, H. P.; Ley, D.; Gerbig, D.; Wu, C.-H.; Allen, W. D. "Methylhydroxycarbene: Tunneling Control of a Chemical Reaction," Science 2011, 332, 1300-1303, DOI: 10.1126/science.1203761.

(2) Ley, D.; Gerbig, D.; Schreiner, P. R. "Tunnelling control of chemical reactions – the organic chemist’s perspective," Org. Biomol. Chem. 2012, 10, 3781-3790, DOI: 10.1039/C2OB07170C.

(3) Kozuch, S.; Zhang, X.; Hrovat, D. A.; Borden, W. T. "Calculations on Tunneling in the Reactions of Noradamantyl Carbenes," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 17274-17277, DOI: 10.1021/ja409176u.

InChIs

1: InChI=1S/C11H16/c1-2-11-6-8-3-9(7-11)5-10(11)4-8/h8-10H,3-7H2,1H3
InChIKey=CXFJINASYYTBBV-UHFFFAOYSA-N

2: InChI=1S/C11H16/c1-7-10-3-8-2-9(5-10)6-11(7)4-8/h8-10H,2-6H2,1H3
InChIKey=XDANPUSLLJWVEK-UHFFFAOYSA-N

3: InChI=1S/C11H16/c1-2-11-6-8-3-9(7-11)5-10(11)4-8/h2,8-10H,1,3-7H2
InChIKey=JHEPVTWREMDEMG-UHFFFAOYSA-N

Borden &Tunneling Steven Bachrach 27 Jan 2014 No Comments

Tunneling in t-butylhydroxycarbene

Sorry I missed this paper from much earlier this year – it’s from a journal that’s not on my normal reading list. Anyways, here is another fantastic work from the Schreiner lab demonstrating the concept of tunneling control (see this post).1 They prepare the t-butylhydroxycarbene 1 at low temperature to look for evidence of formation of possible products arising from a [1,2]-hydrogen shift (2), a [1,2]-methyl shift (3) or a [1,3]-CH insertion (4).

Schreiner performed CCSD(T)/cc-pVDZ optimizations of these compounds along with the transition states for the three migrations. The optimized geometries and relative energies are shown in Figure 1. The thermodynamic product is the aldehyde 2 while the kinetic product is the cyclopropane 4, with a barrier of 23.8 kcal mol-1 some 3.5 kcal mol-1 lower than the barrier leading to 2.

1
(0.0)

TS2
(27.3)

2
(-53.5)

TS3
(31.0)

3
(-41.0)

TS4
(23.8)

4
(-28.3)

Figure 1. CCSD(T)/cc-pVDZ optimized structures of 1-4 and the transition states for the three reaction. Relative energies in kcal mol-1.

At low temperature (11 K), 1 is found to slowly convert into 2 with a half-life of 1.7 h. No other product is observed. Rates for the three reactions were also computed using the Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin (WKB) method (which Schreiner and Allen have used in all of their previous studies). The predicted rate for the conversion of 1 into 2, which takes place at 11 K solely through a tunneling process, is 0.4h, in quite reasonable agreement with experiment. The predicted rates for the other two potential reactions at 11 K are 1031 and 1040 years.

This is clearly an example of tunneling control. The reaction occurs not across the lowest barrier, but through the narrowest barrier.

References

(1) Ley, D.; Gerbig, D.; Schreiner, P. R. "Tunneling control of chemical reactions: C-H insertion versus H-tunneling in tert-butylhydroxycarbene," Chem. Sci. 2013, 4, 677-684, DOI: 10.1039/C2SC21555A.

InChI

1: InChI=1S/C5H10O/c1-5(2,3)4-6/h6H,1-3H3
InChIKey=ZGFKBRGJTPEEOC-UHFFFAOYSA-N

2: InChI=1S/C5H10O/c1-5(2,3)4-6/h4H,1-3H3

3: InChI=1S/C5H10O/c1-4(2)5(3)6/h6H,1-3H3
InChIKey=BZAZNULYLRVMSW-UHFFFAOYSA-N

4: InChI=1S/C5H10O/c1-5(2)3-4(5)6/h4,6H,3H2,1-2H3
InChIKey=MWWQKEGWQLBJBJ-UHFFFAOYSA-N

Schreiner &Tunneling Steven Bachrach 11 Nov 2013 No Comments

Review of tunneling in organic chemistry

Schreiner has written a very nice review of the role of tunneling in organic chemistry.1 This includes tunneling in the conformations of carboxylic acids and in hydrogen abstractions. But the major emphasis is on his own group’s contributions regarding tunneling on a variety of hydroxycarbenes (see these posts: cyclopropylhydroxycarbene, methylhydroxycarbene, phenylhydroxycarbene, dihydroxycarbene, and hydroxymethylene). This led to the development of a third means for controlling reactions: not just kinetic and thermodynamic control, but tunneling control as well.

Recommended reading for anyone interested in learning how quantum mechanical tunneling can have very real-world chemical consequences.

References

(1) Ley, D.; Gerbig, D.; Schreiner, P. R. "Tunnelling control of chemical reactions – the organic chemist’s perspective," Org. Biomol. Chem., 2012, 10, 3781-3790, DOI: 10.1039/C2OB07170C.

Schreiner &Tunneling Steven Bachrach 19 Jun 2012 No Comments

Cyclopropylhydroxycarbene

As we have noted in many previous posts, Schreiner has observed tunneling in hydroxycarbenes that is either very rapid (1a-c) or not at all (1d-f).1-4 In a recent paper his group investigates whether cyclopropylhydroxycarbene 2 might have an intermediate lifetime due to the π-donating effect of the three-member ring.5

Schreiner makes this carbene in his usual manner: flash pyrolysis of the cyclopropylglyoxylic acid. Let’s now consider three possible rearrangements of carbene 2. The hydrogen can migrate (Scheme 1, path a) to give cyclopropylcarboxyaldehyde 3 similar to what was observed with the related hydroxycarbenes. Carbon can migrate (Scheme 1, path b), opening up the three-member ring to give the cyclobutenol 4. This ring could open to the diene 5 and tautomerize to the ketone 6. Lastly, a hydrogen migration from carbon (Scheme 1, path c) would lead to 7. The relative energies of these species computed at CCSD(T)//cc-pVTZ//M06-2x//6-311++G(d,p) are shown in Scheme 1.

Scheme 1. Relative energies in kcal mol-1.

The computed barriers for the initial step of each pathway is +30.4 kcal mol-1 for path a, +21.9 kcal mol-1 for path b and +35.8 kcal mol-1 for path c. Thus, one might expect to see only the reaction along path b at low temperature and mostly along b at high temperature with some small percent along path a. So what actually occurs?

After capturing the flash pyrolysis product in an Ar matrix, besides the unreacted cyclopropylglyoxylic acid, 6, 3, and 2 are observed in an approximate 8:5:1 ratio. 2 is identified on the basis of the nice agreement between the experimental and computed IR frequencies. Irradiation of 2 in the matrix leads to clean conversion to 4, also identified by comparison of the observed and computed IR frequencies. This is all consistent with the computed activation barriers. In the pyrolysis, at high T, 6 is the major product and 3 is the minor product. At very low T (11 K), irradiation of 2 produces 4 (crossing only the lowest barrier) and not continuing further along the rearrangement path to 6.

What is perhaps most exciting is that 2 disappears slowly in the dark at both 11 K and 20 K, converting at the same rate to 3. The half life is 17.7 h, much longer than for the alkyl and aryl substituted hydroxycarbenes 1a-c. This confirms the stabilization effect of the cyclopropyl group, as does its large singlet-triplet gap. The computed tunneling half-life using the WKB approach is 16.6 h, in excellent agreement with experiment. And as expected for a tunneling phenomenon, the dueterated analog has a much longer half-life, computed to be 105 years. Experimentally, 2-d persists with no conversion to 3-d observed.

As with methylhydroxycarbene, we see here an example of tunneling control vs kinetic control. At high T, the reaction crosses the lowest barrier (shown in Figure 1a), proceeding to 4 and subsequent rearrangement products. At low T, the reaction crosses a higher barrier (shown in Figure 1b), but this path involves tunneling of the very light hydrogen atom only, producing 3.

TS 2 → 3

TS 2 → 4

Figure 1. M06-2X/6-311++G(d,p) optimized geometry of the transition states connecting 2 to (a) 3 and (b) 4.

References

(1) Schreiner, P. R.; Reisenauer, H. P.; Pickard Iv, F. C.; Simmonett, A. C.; Allen, W. D.; Matyus, E.; Csaszar, A. G., "Capture of hydroxymethylene and its fast disappearance through tunnelling," Nature, 2008, 453, 906-909, DOI: 10.1038/nature07010.

(2) Schreiner, P. R.; Reisenauer, H. P., "Spectroscopic Identification of Dihydroxycarbene," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2008, 47, 7071-7074, DOI: 10.1002/anie.200802105

(3) Gerbig, D.; Reisenauer, H. P.; Wu, C.-H.; Ley, D.; Allen, W. D.; Schreiner, P. R., "Phenylhydroxycarbene," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 7273-7275, DOI: 10.1021/ja9107885

(4) Schreiner, P. R.; Reisenauer, H. P.; Ley, D.; Gerbig, D.; Wu, C.-H.; Allen, W. D., "Methylhydroxycarbene: Tunneling Control of a Chemical Reaction," Science, 2011, 332, 1300-1303, DOI: 10.1126/science.1203761.

(5) Ley, D.; Gerbig, D.; Wagner, J. P.; Reisenauer, H. P.; Schreiner, P. R., "Cyclopropylhydroxycarbene," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 13614-13621, DOI: 10.1021/ja204507j

Schreiner &Tunneling Steven Bachrach 31 Aug 2011 4 Comments

Methylhydroxycarbene and tunelling control

Another remarkable piece of science from the Schreiner and Allen groups has appeared demonstrating the critical importance of combining experiment with computations.1 (This one will surely be in the running for computational chemistry paper of the year.) Once again they examine tunneling from a carbene intermediate, but this time with an amazing conclusion that will have impact on chemistry textbooks!

Schreiner and Allen have previously examined a number of hydroxycarbenes (see these posts: A, B, C) and have found tunneling to be the main exit channel from these carbenes. The tunneling passes through barriers that are as large as 30 kcal mol-1, and as expected, the deuterium labeled analogues have tunneling half lives that are exceptionally long, like 4000 years.

Now they examine methylhydroxycarbene 1,1 which is interesting because there are two possible exit channels, leading to acetaldehyde 2 or vinyl alcohol 3. Previous gas-phase pyrolysis of pyruvic acid suggested the intermediacy of 1, which rearranges to 2 much more rapidly than to 3. However, G1 computations predict the barrier to 3 is smaller than the barrier to 2,2 which should mean that 2 is the kinetic product!

Methylhydroxycarbene 1 was prepared by flash pyrolysis of pyruvic acid with capture of the products in an argon matrix. The carbene 1 was characterized by IR. The predicted frequencies (CCSD(T)/cc-pCVTZ – with corrections for anharmonicity) of 9 of the 11 bands of 1 are within 8 cm-1 of the experimental frequencies. The OH and OD stretches, the ones not in agreement, are likely to be perturbed by the matrix. The predicted (MRCC/aug-cc-pVTZ) and experimental UV spectrum are also in close agreement.

Holding the matrix at 11 K and following the spectra of 1-3 led to the following important kinetic results: the half-life for formation of 2 is 66 min with no 3 observed to form. In addition, the rate for the deuterium labeled carbene to form 2 was too long for measuring, but was 196 minutes in Kr and 251 minutes in Xe. CCSD(T)/cc-pCVCZ computations followed by focal point methods gives the barrier to form acetaldehyde from 1 as 28.0 kcal mol-1 while that to form vinyl alcohol 3 is much lower: 22.6 kcal mol-1. (The structures of these three molecules and the transition states connecting them are shown in Figure 1.) Apparently, the reaction passes through or over the higher barrier in large preference over passing through or over the lower barrier!

1

TS12

2

TS13

3

Figure 1. CCSD(T)/cc-pCVTZ optimizes structures of 1-3 and the transition states connecting 1 to 2 and 1 to 3.

Precise mapping of the intrinsic reaction path at CCSD(T)/cc-pCVTZ allows for computing the WKB tunneling probabilities. This leads to the prediction of the half-life for the reaction 12 as 71 minutes, in excellent agreement with experiment. The computed half-life for the deuterium labeled reaction of 400 years and the computed half-life for 13 of 190 days are both in fine agreement with experiment.

Why does the reaction preferentially tunnel through the higher barrier? Well, the tunneling rate is dependent on the square root of the barrier height and linearly on the barrier width. The width is much smaller for the rearrangement to 2. The hydrogen needs to move a shorter amount in proceeding from 1to 2 than to 3, and in the rearrangement to vinyl alcohol a second hydrogen must migrate downwards to form the planar vinyl group. Basically, width beats out the height.

The important conclusion from this paper is the following: in addition to reactions being under kinetic or thermodynamic control, we must now consider a third options – a reaction under tunneling control!

A nice perspective on this paper and its implications has been written by Carpenter, who points out how this adds to our general notion of significant limitations to transition state theory.3

References

(1) Schreiner, P. R.; Reisenauer, H. P.; Ley, D.; Gerbig, D.; Wu, C.-H.; Allen, W. D., "Methylhydroxycarbene: Tunneling Control of a Chemical Reaction," Science, 2011, 332, 1300-1303, DOI: 10.1126/science.1203761.

(2) Smith, B. J.; Nguyen Minh, T.; Bouma, W. J.; Radom, L., "Unimolecular rearrangements connecting hydroxyethylidene (CH3-C-OH), acetaldehyde (CH3-CH:O), and vinyl alcohol (CH2:CH-OH)," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1991, 113, 6452-6458, DOI: 10.1021/ja00017a015

(3) Carpenter, B. K., “Taking the High Road and Getting There Before You,” Science, 2011, 332, 1269-1270, DOI: 10.1126/science.1206693.

InChIs

1: InChI=1/C2H4O/c1-2-3/h3H,1H3
InChIKey=JVKQHDUTAFISFX-UHFFFAOYAN

2: InChI=1/C2H4O/c1-2-3/h2H,1H3
InChIKey=IKHGUXGNUITLKF-UHFFFAOYAB

3: InChI=1/C2H4O/c1-2-3/h2-3H,1H2
InChIKey=IMROMDMJAWUWLK-UHFFFAOYAT

focal point &Schreiner &Tunneling Steven Bachrach 14 Jun 2011 3 Comments

Tunneling in carboxylic acid conformations

The most favorable conformation of a carboxylic acid is the Z form. In fact, the E form is rarely found. Schreiner now offers an explanation for why this is so.1

Photolysis of matrix-deposited benzoic acid revealed only the Z form (1Z). However, photolysis of deuterated benzoic acid did reveal the E form 1E, however it disappeared with a half-life of 12 minutes on argon at 11 K and 20 K. The lack of temperature dependence, and the huge isotope effect suggested that the isomerization proceeds via tunneling.

The tunneling rate was computed by generating the reaction path at CCSD(T)/cc-pVTZ with
MP2/cc-pVDZ zero point energy. This gave a half-life of 2.8 h for the deuterium species and 10-5 min for the proton species. A Hammet-like relationship could be produced for the half-lives of para-substituted benzoic acids. Interestingly, a nice correlation is found between the computed width of the tunneling barrier and the half life with σ-donating ability.

References

(1) Amiri, S.; Reisenauer, H. P.; Schreiner, P. R., "Electronic Effects on Atom Tunneling: Conformational Isomerization of Monomeric Para-Substituted Benzoic Acid Derivatives," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132 , 15902–15904, DOI: 10.1021/ja107531y

InChIs

Benzoic acid: InChI=1/C7H6O2/c8-7(9)6-4-2-1-3-5-6/h1-5H,(H,8,9)/f/h8H
InChIKey=WPYMKLBDIGXBTP-FZOZFQFYCI

Schreiner &Tunneling Steven Bachrach 01 Feb 2011 2 Comments

Heavy-atom tunneling confirmed

Borden predicted measurable heavy-atom isotope effects in the ring opening of cyclopropylcarbinyl radical. In my blog post on this paper, I concluded with the line:

Borden hopes that experimentalists will reinvestigate this
problem (and hopefully confirm his predictions).

Well, in a recent paper where Borden collaborates with Singleton, these predictions are confirmed!1

There is a sizable kinetic isotope effect for breaking the ring bond to a 12C over a bond to a 13C atom, up to 16% at -100 °C. The KIE predicted without including tunneling are dramatically below the experimental values, but incorporation of tunneling in the computated KIEs match up with experiment with an error no greater that 0.7%. The Arrhenius plot of ln KIE vs. 1/T shows enhanced isotope effects when tunneling is included, very nice agreement between the experimental and tunneling-corrected KIEs and curvature – all indicative of heavy atom tunneling. Lastly, the ring open product (1-butene) is the observed major product (62%) at -100 °C; the minor product is methylcyclopropane. In the absence of heavy-atom tunneling, 1-butene would be the minor product (28%).

References

(1) Gonzalez-James, O. M.; Zhang, X.; Datta, A.; Hrovat, D. A.; Borden, W. T.; Singleton, D. A. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 12548-12549, DOI: 10.1021/ja1055593.

InChIs

Cyclopropylcarbonyl radical: InChI=1/C4H7/c1-4-2-3-4/h4H,1-3H2
InChIKey=RMCDUNHIVVEEDD-UHFFFAOYAR

1-butene: InChI=1/C4H8/c1-3-4-2/h3H,1,4H2,2H3
InChIKey=VXNZUUAINFGPBY-UHFFFAOYAZ

Borden &Singleton &Tunneling Steven Bachrach 22 Oct 2010 1 Comment

Phenylhydroxycarbene

Somehow I missed this paper when it came out a few months ago, even though I was aware it was coming – as I mentioned it in one of my previous posts!

Anyways, Schreiner and Allen reported on their third study of hydroxyl carbenes (see these posts on dihydroxymethylene and hydroxymethylene), this time examining phenylhydroxycarbene.1 As I covered in my book, there is a lot of work on phenylcarbenes which typically ring expand to the cycloheptatetraene, see Reaction 1. One might expect phenylhydroxycarbene to do the same thing, i.e. 1 converting into 2 (Reaction 2). 1 is prepared by high-vacuum flash pyrolysis of phenylglyoxylic acid 3 and then capturing the product in an argon matrix at 11 K (Reaction 3).

Reaction 1

Reaction 2

Reaction 3

The carbene 1 is identified through comparison of its experimental and computed (anharmonic frequencies at CCSD(T)/cc-pVDZ) IR frequencies.

No ring expansion is observed at all – Reaction 2 does not occur. Instead, 1 rearranges to benzaldehyde 4 (Reaction 4) at 11 K with a half life of 2.46 h (and a half life of 2.55 h at 20 K). The deuterated analogue does not convert to benzaldehyde and 1-d appears to be completely stable.

Reaction 4

So, what is going on? The cis and trans forms of 1 interconvert through a barrier of 22.7 kcal mol-1. The trans isomer can convert to benzaldehyde (the reaction is very exothermic: -50.8 kcal mol-1) with a barrier of 28.8 kcal mol-1 through TS1, shown in Figure 1. The cis isomer can cleave into benzene and CO (not observed) with a huge barrier of 55 kcal mol-1. All of these barrier were computed at CCSD(T)/cc-pVQZ.

TS1

Figure 1. MP2/cc-pVDZ optimized transition state for the conversion of 1 into 4.

Benzaldehyde seems to be produced by passing through a huge barrier, something that is impossible from a thermal perspective (we’re at 11 K!). But this can be accomplished by tunneling. Tunneling probabilities were computed from the MP2/aug-cc-pVDZ intrinsic reaction path with barrier penetration integrals computed with the WKB approximation. The bottom line: the computed half-life is 3.3 h and the deuterated species is computed to have a half-life of 8700 years(!), both in excellent agreement with experimental observation. Quantum mechanical tunneling is clearly the explanation for this chemistry.

This is another fine example of the power of joint experimental/computational studies. And be on the look-out for an even more exciting case from this group. I met with Wes Allen on my recent trip to the University of Georgia and was entertained with another hydroxycarbene that undergoes quite novel tunneling!

References

(1) Gerbig, D.; Reisenauer, H. P.; Wu, C.-H.; Ley, D.; Allen, W. D.; Schreiner, P. R., "Phenylhydroxycarbene," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 7273-7275, DOI: 10.1021/ja9107885

InChIs

1: InChI=1/C7H6O/c8-6-7-4-2-1-3-5-7/h1-5,8H
InChIKey=QVZIGMRPQWIGCV-UHFFFAOYAE

2: InChI=1/C7H6O/c8-7-5-3-1-2-4-6-7/h1-6H
InChIKey=QVWDCTQRORVHHT-UHFFFAOYAM

3: InChI=1/C8H6O3/c9-7(8(10)11)6-4-2-1-3-5-6/h1-5H,(H,10,11)/f/h10H
InChIKey=FAQJJMHZNSSFSM-KZFATGLACS

4: InChI=1/C7H6O/c8-6-7-4-2-1-3-5-7/h1-6H
InChIKey=HUMNYLRZRPPJDN-UHFFFAOYAE

carbenes &Schreiner &Tunneling Steven Bachrach 21 Sep 2010 3 Comments

From ACS San Francisco

Not particularly strong programming at the year’s spring ACS meeting – but one great session in the organic division yesterday. This was the awards session in honor of John Baldwin getting the James Flack Norris Award for physical organic chemistry.

First to speak was James Duncan, who discussed his recent CASSCF computations looking for pseudopericylic [3,3]-sigmatropic migrations. I will be commenting on his latest work in a post that will appear soon.

I had to skip the next talk, but came back to hear John Brauman discuss recent work on the solvation effect in the SN2 reaction. This is an interesting case of where the screening of larger substituents is counterbalanced by geometric changes that lead to greater charge distribution. The net effect is that they cancel each other out, and the methyl,ethyl, iso-propyl, butyl β-effect is negligible.

Next was Peter Schreiner who discussed his carbene work, specifically the enormous tunneling effect observed in hydroxymethylene (see this post). He discussed some new work, that is if anything even more fantastic on methylhydroxycarbene – look for this work perhaps later in 2011.

Last to speak was John Baldwin – and he described his truly tour de force efforts in examining the [1,3]-rearrangements of vinylcyclopropane and vinylcyclobutane. The former work is described in my book, while the later study is still ongoing.

John’s work is amazingly painstaking and careful. I am truly in awe of his dedication in taking on extremely difficult studies that require enormous care. John has really taught us a lot – not just about these rearrangements (they involve diradicals on a flat plateau demanding dynamic analysis – but how to think about a study and then carry it out to fruition so that all details are assessed. A truly deserving recipient!

pseudopericyclic &Schreiner &Tunneling Steven Bachrach 23 Mar 2010 1 Comment

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