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Effect of Geminal Substitution on the Strain Energy of Dioxiranes. Origin of the Low Ring Strain of Dimethyldioxirane

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journal contribution
posted on 09.05.2002 by Robert D. Bach, Olga Dmitrenko
The strain energies (SE) for dioxirane (DO) dimethyldioxirane (DMDO) and related dioxiranes have been examined by several methods using high-level computational schemes (G2, G2(MP2), CBS-Q). A series of calculated O−O, C−O, and O−H bond dissociation energies (G2) point to special problems associated with classical homodesmotic reactions involving peroxides. The relative SEs of DO, DMDO, methyl(trifluoromethyl)dioxirane (TFDO), and difluorodioxirane (DFDO) have been estimated by combination of the dioxirane with cyclopropane to form the corresponding 1,3-dioxacyclohexane. The relative SE predicted for DMDO (2) is 7 kcal/mol lower than that of DO, while the SE of 1,1-difluorodioxirane (4) is 8 kcal/mol higher. The most reactive dioxirane, methyl (trifluoromethyl)dioxirane (3), has an estimated SE just 1 kcal/mol greater than that of DO but 8 kcal/mol greater than that of DMDO. Six independent methods support the proposed SE for DO of 18 kcal/mol. The SE of the parent dioxirane (DO) has been estimated relative to six-membered ring reference compounds by dimerization of dioxirane and or its combination with cyclopropane. The relative SE of cyclic hydrocarbons, ethers and peroxides have been predicted by the insertion/extrusion of −CH2− and −O− fragments into their respective lower and next higher homologues. The moderated SE of DMDO (≈11 kcal/mol) has also been estimated on the basis of group equivalent reactions. The unusual thermodynamic stability of DMDO is largely a consequence of combined geminal dimethyl and dioxa substitution effects and its associated strong C−H bonds and C−CH3 bonds. The data clearly demonstrate that the reference compounds used to estimate the SE for highly substituted small ring cyclic compounds should reflect their molecular architecture having the same substitutents on carbon.

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