Archive for June, 2012

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

Benzene Dimers – [2+2] and [4+2]

Hoffmann1 reports on a number of new benzene dimer structures, notably 5-8, whose RIJCOSX-MP2/cc-pVTZ2 structures are shown in Figure 1. A few of these new dimers are only somewhat higher in energy than the known dimers 1-4. The energies of these dimers, relative to two isolated benzene molecules, are listed in Table 1.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Figure 1. RIJCOSX-MP2/cc-pVTZ optimized geometries of 1-8.

Table 1. Energy (kcal mol-1) of the dimers relative to two benzene molecules and activation energy for reversion to two benzene molecules.


Compound

Erel

Eact

1

50.9

29

2

49.9

 

3

38.2

9

4

58.7

19

5

71.9

30

6

49.9

36

7

60.8

27

8

98.8

28


The energy for reversion of the isomers 5-8 to two isolated benzene molecules is calculated to be fairly large, and so they should be stable relative to that decomposition mode. They also examined a series of other decomposition modes, including [1,5]-hydrogen migration, all of which had barriers of 21 kcal mol-1 or greater, retrocyclization ([2+2]), for which they could not locate transition states, electrocyclic ring opening (Cope), with barriers of at least 17 kcal mol-1 and dimerization – some of which had relatively small enthalpic barriers of 4-5 kcal mol-1. However, the dimerizations all have very unfavorable entropic activation barriers.

So, the conclusion is that all of the novel dimers (4-8) can be reasonable expected to hang around for some time and therefore are potential synthetic targets.

References

(1) Rogachev, A. Yu.; Wen, X.-D.; Hoffmann, R. "Jailbreaking Benzene Dimers," J.
Am. Chem. Soc.
, 2012, 134, 8062-8065, DOI:10.1021/ja302597r

(2) Kossmann, S.; Neese, F. "Efficient Structure Optimization with Second-Order Many-Body Perturbation Theory: The RIJCOSX-MP2 Method," J. Chem. Theory Comput., 2010, 6, 2325-2338, DOI: 10.1021/ct100199k

InChIs

1: InChI=1S/C12H12/c1-2-6-10-9(5-1)11-7-3-4-8-12(10)11/h1-12H/t9-,10+,11-,12+
InChIKey=WMPWOGVJEXSFLI-UHFFFAOYSA-N

2: InChI=1S/C12H12/c1-2-6-10-9(5-1)11-7-3-4-8-12(10)11/h1-12H/t9-,10+,11+,12-
InChIKey=WMPWOGVJEXSFLI-IWDIQUIJSA-N

3: InChI=1S/C12H12/c1-2-4-12-10-7-5-9(6-8-10)11(12)3-1/h1-12H/t9?,10?,11-,12+
InChIKey=ONVDJSCNMCYFTI-CAODYFQJSA-N

4: InChI=1S/C12H12/c1-2-10-4-3-9(1)11-5-7-12(10)8-6-11/h1-12H
InChIKey=BCBHEUOKKNYIAT-UHFFFAOYSA-N

5: InChI=1S/C12H12/c1-2-6-10-9(5-1)11-7-3-4-8-12(10)11/h1-12H/t9-,10-,11+,12+/m1/s1
InChIKey=WMPWOGVJEXSFLI-WYUUTHIRSA-N

6: InChI=1S/C12H12/c1-2-4-12-10-7-5-9(6-8-10)11(12)3-1/h1-12H/t9?,10?,11-,12-/m0/s1
InChIKey=ONVDJSCNMCYFTI-QQFIATSDSA-N

7: InChI=1S/C12H12/c1-2-6-10-9(5-1)11-7-3-4-8-12(10)11/h1-12H/t9-,10-,11-,12+/m1/s1
InChIKey=WMPWOGVJEXSFLI-KKOKHZNYSA-N

8: InChI=1S/C12H12/c1-2-6-10-9(5-1)11-7-3-4-8-12(10)11/h1-12H/t9-,10-,11-,12-
InChIKey=WMPWOGVJEXSFLI-NQYKUJLISA-N

Aromaticity &cycloadditions &electrocyclization Steven Bachrach 04 Jun 2012 No Comments