American Chemical Society
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Low-Mode Conformational Search Method with Semiempirical Quantum Mechanical Calculations: Application to Enantioselective Organocatalysis

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-01-27, 00:00 authored by Takashi Kamachi, Kazunari Yoshizawa
A conformational search program for finding low-energy conformations of large noncovalent complexes has been developed. A quantitatively reliable semiempirical quantum mechanical PM6-DH+ method, which is able to accurately describe noncovalent interactions at a low computational cost, was employed in contrast to conventional conformational search programs in which molecular mechanical methods are usually adopted. Our approach is based on the low-mode method whereby an initial structure is perturbed along one of its low-mode eigenvectors to generate new conformations. This method was applied to determine the most stable conformation of transition state for enantioselective alkylation by the Maruoka and cinchona alkaloid catalysts and Hantzsch ester hydrogenation of imines by chiral phosphoric acid. Besides successfully reproducing the previously reported most stable DFT conformations, the conformational search with the semiempirical quantum mechanical calculations newly discovered a more stable conformation at a low computational cost.