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Mechanisms of Staudinger reactions within density functional theory

TitleMechanisms of Staudinger reactions within density functional theory
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsTian, WQ, Wang*, YA
JournalJ. Org. Chem.
Volume69
Pagination4299-4308
Date PublishedJun
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0022-3263
KeywordsAB-INITIO, GAS-PHASE, GAUSSIAN-TYPE BASIS, GOLD(I) COMPLEXES, METAL-COMPLEXES, MOLECULAR-ORBITAL METHODS, ORGANIC-MOLECULES, PHOSPHINIMIDE COMPLEXES, TRIAZADIENYL FLUORIDE, X-RAY CRYSTAL
Abstract

The Staudinger reactions of substituted phosphanes and azides have been investigated by using density functional theory. Four different initial reaction mechanisms have been found. All systems studied go through a cis-transition state rather than a trans-transition state or a one-step transition state. The one-step pathway of the phosphorus atom attacking the substituted nitrogen atom is always unfavorable energetically. Depending on the substituents on the azide and the phosphane, the reaction mechanism with the lowest initial reaction barrier can be classified into three categories: (1) like the parent reaction, PH3 + N3H, the reaction goes through a cis-transition state, approaches a cis-intermediate, overcomes a PN-bond-shifting transition state, reaches a four-membered ring intermediate, dissociates N-2 by overcoming a small barrier, and results in the final products: N-2 and a phosphazene; (2) once reaching the cis-intermediate, the reaction goes through the N-2-eliminating transition state and produces the final products; (3) the reaction has a concerted initial cis-transition state, in which the phosphorus atom attacks the first and the third nitrogen atoms of the azide simultaneously and reaches an intermediate, and then the reaction goes through similar steps of the first reaction mechanism. In contrast to the previous predictions on the relative stability of the unsubstituted cis-configured phosphazide intermediate and the unsubstituted trans-configured phosphazide intermediate, the total energy of the substituted trans-configured phosphazide intermediate is close to that of the substituted cis-configured phosphazide intermediate. The preference of the initial cis-transition state reaction pathway is thoroughly discussed. The relative stability of the cis- and the trans-intermediates is explored and analyzed with the aid of molecular orbitals. The effects of substituents and solvent effects on the reaction mechanisms of the Staudinger reactions are discussed in detail.

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