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A Combined Theoretical and Experimental Study of Efficient and Fast Titanocene-Catalyzed 3-exo Cyclizations

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posted on 18.05.2005, 00:00 by Joachim Friedrich, Michael Dolg, Andreas Gansäuer, Daniel Geich-Gimbel, Thorsten Lauterbach
The mechanism of titanocene mediated 3-exo cyclizations was investigated by a combined theoretical and experimental study. A gradient corrected density functional theory (DFT) method has been scaled against titanocene dichloride, the parent butenyl radical, and in bond dissociation energy (BDE) calculations. The BP86 method using density fitting, and a basis set of triple-ζ quality emerged as a highly reliable tool for studying titanocene mediated radical reactions. The computational results revealed important kinetic and thermodynamic features of cyclopropane formation. Surprisingly, the β-titanoxy radicals, the first intermediates of our investigations, were demonstrated to possess essentially the same thermodynamic stabilization as the corresponding alkyl radicals by comparison of the calculated BDEs. In contrast to suggestions for samarium mediated reactions, the cyclization was shown to be thermodynamically favorable in agreement with earlier kinetic studies. It was established that stereoselectivity of the cyclization is governed by the stability of the intermediates and thus the trans disubstituted products are formed preferentially. The observed ratios of products are in good to excellent agreement with the DFT results. By a combination of computational and experimental results, it was also shown that for the completion of the overall cyclopropane formation the efficiency of the trapping of the cyclopropylcarbinyl radicals is decisive.