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Nickel-Catalyzed Alkyl Coupling Reactions: Evaluation of Computational Methods

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journal contribution
posted on 24.03.2011, 00:00 by Lawrence M. Pratt, Stewart Voit, Fabian N. Okeke, Nobuaki Kambe
The B3LYP, M06, M06L, M062X, MPW1K, and PBE1PBE DFT methods were evaluated for modeling nickel-catalyzed coupling reactions. The reaction consists of a nucleophilic attack by a carbanion equivalent on the nickel complex, SN2 attack by the anionic nickel complex on an alkyl halide, and reductive elimination of the coupled alkane product, regenerating the nickel catalyst. On the basis of CCSD(T)//DFT single-point energies, the B3LYP, M06, and PBE1PBE functionals were judged to generate the best ground state geometries. M06 energies are generally comparable or superior to B3LYP and PBE1PBE energies for transition state calculations. The MP2 and CCSD methods were also evaluated for single-point energies at the M06 geometries. The rate-determining step of this reaction was found to be nucleophilic attack of a L2NiR anion on the alkyl halide.