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Density Functional Theory Study of Addition Reactions of Carbon-Centered Radicals to Alkenes

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journal contribution
posted on 13.01.2011, 00:00 by D. Moscatelli, M. Dossi, C. Cavallotti, G. Storti
Addition reactions of carbon-centered radicals to unsaturated compounds have been studied using quantum chemistry. Following the review by Fischer and Radom (Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2001, 40, 1340.), the radicals were grouped in four different families, and the alkenes were selected from among those typical of polymer productions. All of the kinetic constants were calculated using density functional theory and classic transition state theory. Geometries of reactants, products, and transition states were determined at the B3LYP/6-311+G(d,p) level of theory, whereas reaction enthalpies, activation energies, and kinetic constants were estimated using different basis sets. By comparative evaluation of the results obtained with different basis sets, the best computational approach for each kinetic step was identified. As a result of this study, a computational methodology suitable for investigating a large number of kinetic pathways typical of free-radical polymerization processes is proposed.