A density functional theory study clarifying the reactions of conjugated ketenes with formaldimine. A plethora of pericyclic and pseudopericyclic pathways

Chun Zhou, David M. Birney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

The reactions of vinylketene (1a), imidoylketene (1b), and formylketene (1c) with formaldimine (2) were studied at the B3LYP/6-31G* level. For the cycloadditions of these conjugated ketenes with 2, several possible pathways to both [4 + 2] and [2 + 2] products were examined. The lowest energy [2 + 2] pathways are, in most cases, calculated to be stepwise, forming the products via rate-determining conrotatory electrocyclization of zwitterionic intermediates. However, concerted transition structures analogous to the ketene plus ethene [2 + 2] cycloaddition reaction were also located; the existence of multiple transition states offers a resolution to a long-standing controversy regarding the mechanism of ketene plus imine cycloadditions. Both stepwise and concerted [4 + 2] pathways were calculated for 2b and for 2c; both these pathways are pseudopericyclic. The inherently low barriers associated with pseudopericyclic transition states provide an explanation of the experimental preference for [4 + 2] cycloadditions of α-oxoketenes and predict [4 + 2] cycloadditions should also be favored for imidoylketenes. For a vinylketene constrained to a Z-geometry, the concerted [4 + 2] cycloaddition is also predicted to be the lowest energy pathway. An explanation is offered for the unusual thermal equilibration from a six-membered ring (3d) to a four-membered ring (4d) observed by Sato et al. Transition structures for facile pseudopericyclic 1,3- and 1,5-hydrogen shifts in the zwitterions were also calculated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5231-5241
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume124
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - May 8 2002

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