Reactivity Differences between α,β-Unsaturated Carbonyls and Hydrazones Investigated by Experimental and Theoretical Electron Density and Electron Localizability Analyses

Simon Grabowsky, M. Weber, Dylan Jayatilaka, Y.S. Chen, M.T. Grabowski, R. Brehme, M. Hesse, T. Schirmeister, P. Luger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is still a challenge to predict a compound's reactivity from its ground-state electronic nature although Bader-type topological analyses of the electron density (ED) and electron localizability indicator (ELI) give detailed and useful information on electron concentration and electron-pair localization, respectively. Both ED and ELI can be obtained from theoretical calculations as well as high-resolution X-ray diffraction experiments. Besides ED and ELI descriptors, the delocalization index is used here; it is likewise derived from theoretical calculations as well as from experimental X-ray results, but in the latter case, demonstrated here for the first time. We investigate alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl and hydrazone compounds because resonance exhibited by these compounds in the electronic ground-state determines their reactive behavior. The degree of resonance as well as the reactivity contrast are quantified with the electronic descriptors. Moreover, competitive mesomeric substituent effects are studied using the two biologically important compounds acrolein and acrylamide. The reactivity differences predicted from the analyses are in line with the known reactivity of these compounds in organic synthesis. Hence, the capability of the ED and ELI for rationalizing and predicting different and competing substituent effects with respect to reactivity is demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12715-12732
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Volume115
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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