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Correlation of Hydrogen-Atom Abstraction Reaction Efficiencies for Aryl Radicals with their Vertical Electron Affinities and the Vertical Ionization Energies of the Hydrogen-Atom Donors

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journal contribution
posted on 31.12.2008 by Linhong Jing, John J. Nash, Hilkka I. Kenttämaa
The factors that control the reactivities of aryl radicals toward hydrogen-atom donors were studied by using a dual-cell Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer. Hydrogen-atom abstraction reaction efficiencies for two substrates, cyclohexane and isopropyl alcohol, were measured for 23 structurally different, positively charged aryl radicals, which included dehydrobenzenes, dehydronaphthalenes, dehydropyridines, and dehydro(iso)quinolines. A logarithmic correlation was found between the hydrogen-atom abstraction reaction efficiencies and the (calculated) vertical electron affinities (EA) of the aryl radicals. Transition state energies calculated for the reaction of three of the aryl radicals with isopropyl alcohol were found to correlate linearly with their (calculated) EAs. No correlation was found between the hydrogen-atom abstraction reaction efficiencies and the (calculated) enthalpy changes for the reactions. Measurement of the reaction efficiencies for the reactions of 15 different hydrogen-atom donors with two selected aryl radicals revealed a logarithmic correlation between the hydrogen-atom abstraction reaction efficiencies and the vertical ionization energies (IE) of the hydrogen-atom donors, but not the lowest homolytic X−H (X = heavy atom) bond dissociation energies of the hydrogen-atom donors. Examination of the hydrogen-atom abstraction reactions of 29 different aryl radicals and 18 different hydrogen-atom donors showed that the reaction efficiency increases (logarithmically) as the difference between the IE of the hydrogen-atom donor and the EA of the aryl radical decreases. This dependence is likely to result from the increasing polarization, and concomitant stabilization, of the transition state. Thus, the hydrogen-atom abstraction reaction efficiency for an aryl radical can be “tuned” by structural changes that influence either the vertical EA of the aryl radical or the vertical IE of the hydrogen atom donor.

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