Thermodynamics, kinetics, and dynamics of the two alternative aniomesolytic fragmentations of C-O bonds: An electrochemical and theoretical study

Luisa Pisano, Maria Farriol, Xavier Asensio, Iluminada Gallardo, Angels González-Lafont, José M. Lluch, Jordi Marquet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fragmentation reactions of radical anions (mesolytic cleavages) of cyanobenzyl alkyl ethers (intramolecular dissociative electron transfer, heterolytic cleavages) have been studied electrochemically. The intrinsic barriers for the processes have been established from the experimental thermodynamic and kinetic parameters. These values are more than 3 kcal/mol lower as an average than the related homolytic mesolytic fragmentations of radical anions of 4-cyanophenyl ethers. In the particular case of isomers 4-cyanobenzyl phenyl ether and 4-cyanophenyl benzyl ether, the difference in intrinsic barriers amounts to 5.5 kcal/mol, and this produces an energetic crossing where the thermodynamically more favorable process (homolytic) is the kinetically slower one. The fundamental reasons for this behavior have been established by means of theoretical calculations within the density functional theory framework, showing that, in this case, the factors that determine the kinetics are clearly different (mainly present in the transition state) from those that determine the thermodynamics and they are not related to the regioconservation of the spin density ("spin regioconservation principle"). Our theoretical results reproduce quite well the experimental energetic difference of barriers and demonstrate the main structural origin of the difference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4708-4715
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume124
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2002

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