American Chemical Society
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DFT Study on the Molecular Mechanism of the [4 + 2] Cycloaddition between Thiobenzophenone and Arylalkenes via Radical Cations

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journal contribution
posted on 2009-05-14, 00:00 authored by Luis R. Domingo, Raúl Pérez-Ruiz, Juan E. Argüello, Miguel A. Miranda
The mechanistic aspects of the radical cationic version of the [4 + 2] cycloaddition between thiobenzophenone 1 and three aryl-substituted alkenes 2a−c have been studied using DFT methods at the UB3LYP/6-31G* level of theory. In the ground state, the Diels−Alder reaction follows an asynchronous concerted mechanism; the large activation energy associated with bond formation prevents this process. After generation of the radical cation (RC), formation of a molecular complex (MC) between 1 and 2a−c initiates a stepwise mechanism, with attack of the sulfur atom of 1 to the aryl-conjugated position of 2a−c. Subsequent ring closure is the rate-determining step of these cycloadditions. Methoxy or dimethylamino substitution at the aryl group, while stabilizing the corresponding RC, results in a less exothermic formation of MC and a significant increase of the cycloaddition barrier.