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One vs two bond rotation – An instance utilizing Acyl amides « Henry Rzepa’s Weblog


One of many vital points of chemical response mechanisms is the order through which issues occur. Extra particularly, the order through which bonds make or break when there are greater than two concerned in endeavor a response. So we’ve:

  1. concerted mechanisms, when all bonds in any specific stage of a mechanism are altering in live performance by way of a novel transition state,
  2. asynchronous concerted mechanism, when all of the bonds are altering, however not essentially all on the identical price and which can contain so known as “hidden intermediates”, however which however stil entails just one transition state.
  3. stepwise mechanisms, through which a couple of transition state is concerned, related by a discrete intermediate alongside the pathway.

Right here I think about an instance of one other sort of (isomerisation) mechanism, involving bond rotations fairly than bond formations or breakages. The 2 bonds on this case have the next bond order than 1, and so are beginning to verge on a sort of isomerism often known as atropisomerism, the place the rotation takes place on a comparatively sluggish time scale (not like single bonds themselves, the place rotation about them is generally comparatively quick). Do two such bonds rotate in a stepwise or a concerted method? Within the construction under, we’ve two rotatable bonds, proven in purple and blue, which as a result of conjugation of the lone electron pair on the nitrogen atoms with the carbonyl group have bond orders >1. Do these bonds rotate in live performance or in a stepwise method?

The calculations of the rotations are performed on the B3LYP+GD3+BJ/Def2-SVPP/SCRF=DCM degree, Information DOI: 10.14469/hpc/12299

  1. Firstly, for the system R=R’ = Me. The response coordinate is specified across the purple bond.

    The animation alongside the IRC (Intrinsic response coordinate) seems under, the place you possibly can see the purple bond rotating and the blue bond spectating.

  2. The response of the dihedral angles about each bonds is proven under, which reinforces the conclusion that while one dihedral adjustments by about 180°, the opposite hardly adjustments. The general dipole second adjustments considerably on account of the relative orientation of the 2 carbonyl teams altering. The 2 bonds might be stated to rotate in a stepwise mechanism, involving an intermediate the place one has rotated and the opposite has not.


  3. When the majority of the central group is elevated, totally different behaviour is now noticed.

  4. Each dihedral angles now change by ~180°, in live performance however not in synchrony! The primary roughly transforms evenly by ~180°, however the second adjustments route at ~IRC=-5 to rejoin the opposite.

When the steric bulk implies that the rotating substituents begin to intervene with one another, so-called “gearing” begins to happen the place the motions of the 2 develop into coupled by the gears. The rotations are actually a concerted asynchronous course of.

So now to my concluding thought. The above is an easy instance of gearing involving rotation about two coupled bonds. So what number of bonds might be concurrently geared in order that when one rotates, the others do as effectively? I’m now looking for an instance of three such bonds geared collectively. And is there a restrict to what number of can accomplish that in live performance? Right here we enter into analogy with bond cleavage, the place there are quite a few examples of bonds breaking in live performance, if not in synchrony. Most pericyclic processes are of this kind. Is there an identical patten in bond rotations?

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