Mechanistic insights into ring-closing enyne metathesis with the second-generation Grubbs-Hoveyda catalyst: A DFT study

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Abstract

The full catalytic process (precatalyst activation, propagating cycle and active-species interconversion) of the ring-closing enyne metathesis (RCEYM) reaction of 1-allyloxy-2-propyne with the Grubbs-Hoveyda complex as catalyst was studied by B3LYP density functional theory. Both the ene-then-yne and yne-then-ene pathways are considered and, for the productive catalytic cycle, the feasibility of the endo-yne-then-ene route is also explored. Calculations predict that the ene-then-yne and yne-then-ene pathways proceed through equivalent steps, the only major difference being the order in which they take place. In this way, all alkene metathesis processes studied here involve four steps: olefin coordination, cycloaddition, cycloreversion and olefin decoordination. Among them, the two more energetically demanding ones are the olefin coordination and decoordination steps. The reaction of the alkyne fragment consists of two steps: alkyne coordination and alkyne skeletal reorganization, the latter of which has the highest Gibbs energy barrier. Comparison between the ene-then-yne and yne-then-ene pathways shows that there is no clear energetic preference for either of the two processes, and thus both should be operative when unsubstituted enynes are involved. In addition, although the endo orientation is computed to be slightly disfavored, it is not ruled out for 1-allyloxy-2-propyne, and thus calculations seem to indicate that the exo versus endo selectivity is strongly influenced by the presence of substituents in the reagent. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7506-7520
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Volume17
Issue number27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2011

Keywords

  • density functional calculations
  • enynes
  • metathesis
  • reaction mechanisms
  • ruthenium

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