Imaging dynamic fingerprints of competing E2 and S(N)2 reactions
AuthorCarrascosa, E; Meyer, J; Zhang, J; Stei, M; Michaelsen, T; Hase, WL; Yang, L; Wester, R
Source TitleNature Communications
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
University of Melbourne Author/sCarrascosa Casado, Eduardo
AffiliationSchool of Chemistry
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsCarrascosa, E., Meyer, J., Zhang, J., Stei, M., Michaelsen, T., Hase, W. L., Yang, L. & Wester, R. (2017). Imaging dynamic fingerprints of competing E2 and S(N)2 reactions. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 8 (1), https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00065-x.
Access StatusOpen Access
The competition between bimolecular nucleophilic substitution and base-induced elimination is of fundamental importance for the synthesis of pure samples in organic chemistry. Many factors that influence this competition have been identified over the years, but the underlying atomistic dynamics have remained difficult to observe. We present product velocity distributions for a series of reactive collisions of the type X- + RY with X and Y denoting the halogen atoms fluorine, chlorine and iodine. By increasing the size of the residue R from methyl to tert-butyl in several steps, we find that the dynamics drastically change from backward to dominant forward scattering of the leaving ion relative to the reactant RY velocity. This characteristic fingerprint is also confirmed by direct dynamics simulations for ethyl as residue and attributed to the dynamics of elimination reactions. This work opens the door to a detailed atomistic understanding of transformation reactions in even larger systems.The competition between chemical reactions critically affects our natural environment and the synthesis of new materials. Here, the authors present an approach to directly image distinct fingerprints of essential organic reactions and monitor their competition as a function of steric substitution.
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