Functionalisation of a (hetero)aromatic ring by selectively (directedly) removing protons using the metal lithium is a relative mechanistic newcomer, compared to the pantheon of knowledge on aromatic electrophilic substitution. Investigating the mechanism using quantum calculations poses some interesting challenges, ones I have not previously discussed on this blog.
Archive for the ‘Interesting chemistry’ Category
My last comment as appended to the previous post promised to analyse two so-called extended porphyrins for their topological descriptors. I start with the Cãlugãreanu/Fuller theorem which decomposes the topology of a space curve into two components, its twist (Tw) and its writhe (Wr, this latter being the extent to which coiling of the central curve has relieved local twisting) and establishes a topological invariant called the linking number
- S.M. Rappaport, and H.S. Rzepa, "Intrinsically Chiral Aromaticity. Rules Incorporating Linking Number, Twist, and Writhe for Higher-Twist Möbius Annulenes", Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 130, pp. 7613-7619, 2008. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja710438j
An extensive discussion developed regarding my post on a fascinating helical -annulene. Topics included the nature of the ring current sustained by the π-electrons and in particular the bond-length alternation around the periphery and whether this should alter if the electron count were to be changed to that of a 4n+2 system (i.e. a dication). Whilst the -annulene itself is hypothetical, it emerged that some compounds known as expanded porphyrins have very similar (albeit smaller scale) helical structures. X-ray structures for two such provide useful reality checks on the calculations. Here‡ I include the (3D) coordinates of these two systems so that you can explore for yourself their helicity.
The electronic interaction between a single bond and an adjacent double bond is often called σ-π-conjugation (an older term for this is hyperconjugation), and the effect is often used to e.g. explain why more highly substituted carbocations are more stable than less substituted ones. This conjugation is more subtle in neutral molecules, but following my use of crystal structures to explore the so-called gauche effect (which originates from σ-σ-conjugation), I thought I would have a go here at seeing what the crystallographic evidence actually is for the σ-π-type.
Although have dealt with the π-complex formed by protonation of PhNHOPh in several posts, there was one aspect that I had not really answered; what is the most appropriate description of its electronic nature? Here I do not so much provide an answer, as try to show how difficult getting an accurate answer might be.
The transient π-complex formed during the “[5,5]” sigmatropic rearrangement of protonated N,O-diphenyl hydroxylamine can be (formally) represented as below, namely the interaction of a six-π-electron aromatic ring (the phenoxide anion 2) with a four-π-electron phenyl dication-anion pair 1. Can one analyse this interaction in terms of aromaticity?