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Comprehensive Study of the Methyl Effect on the Solvolysis Rates of Bridgehead Derivatives

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posted on 17.05.2002, 00:00 by Antonio García Martínez, Enrique Teso Vilar, José Osío Barcina, Santiago de la Moya Cerero
The effect of a bridgehead methyl group on the hydride ion affinity in the gas phase of bicyclo[1.1.1]pent-1-yl (1(+)), 1-norbornyl (3(+)), cubyl (5(+)), 1-adamantyl (7(+)), bicyclo[2.2.2]oct-1-yl (9(+)), and bicyclo[3.1.1]hept-1-yl (11(+)) cations has been studied using density functional theory and ab initio methods. It is concluded that the methyl group always increases the stability of the substituted cations. The effect of the solvent on the stability of methyl-substituted cations in relation to the unsubstituted cations has been studied using the polarizable continuum model of the self-consistent reaction field theory. In the case of rearranging cations, the nucleophilic assistance of the solvent is determined by means of the interaction energy of the corresponding water complexes. It is concluded that the solvent causes the relative stabilization of the parent cations. As a consequence, most of the methyl-substituted bridgehead derivatives show a lower solvolysis rate than the corresponding unsubstituted compounds. A nonqualitative explanation of the methyl effect on the relative stability of bridgehead cations in both gas phase and solution is given for the first time. The ratios of solvolysis products in the case of rearranging bridgehead cations have also been computed from the relative stability of the intermediate water complexes.