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Solvent Effect on the α-Effect for the Reactions of Aryl Acetates with Butane-2,3-dione Monoximate and p-Chlorophenoxide in MeCN−H2O Mixtures

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journal contribution
posted on 09.06.2001, 00:00 by Ik-Hwan Um, Eun-Ju Lee, Erwin Buncel
Second-order rate constants have been measured spectrophotometrically for the nucleophilic reactions of three substituted phenyl acetates with butane-2,3-dione monoximate (Ox-) as an α-nucleophile and p-chlorophenoxide (ClPhO-) as corresponding normal nucleophile, in MeCN−H2O mixtures of varying compositions at 25.0 ± 0.1 °C. The reactivity of Ox- toward the aryl acetates decreases upon addition of MeCN to the reaction medium up to ca. 30 mol % MeCN, followed by a gradual increase in rate upon further addition of MeCN. A similar result has been obtained for the reaction of ClPhO- with the aryl acetates. However, the decrease in rate is more significant for the less reactive ClPhO- than for the more reactive Ox-. Thus, for all the aryl acetates studied, Ox- exhibits a sizable α-effect (kOx/kClPhO) whose magnitude increases as the mol % MeCN in the reaction medium increases. The relative basicities (ΔpKa) of Ox- and ClPhO- have been determined spectrophotometrically using piperazine as a reference base. The ΔpKa values increase on increasing the mol % MeCN in the medium for both Ox- and ClPhO-. The difference in the relative basicities of these nucleophiles (ΔΔpKa) becomes larger with increasing mol % MeCN. The plots of log kOx/kClPhO vs ΔΔpKa for the three substrates are linear with near-unit slope, indicating that the difference in the relative basicity of the nucleophiles is largely responsible for the increasing α-effect with medium composition in this system.