Posts Tagged ‘minor product’

Dynamic effects in nucleophilic substitution at trigonal carbon (with Na+) revisited.

Monday, August 13th, 2012

This reaction looks simple but is deceptively complex. To recapitulate: tolyl thiolate (X=Na) reacts with the dichlorobutenone to give two substitution products in a 81:19 ratio, a result that Singleton and Bogle argue arises from a statistical distribution of dynamic trajectories bifurcating out of a single transition state favouring 2 over 3. On the grounds (presumably) that the presence of both the cation X (=Na+) and H-bonded solvent (ethanol) are uninfluential, neither species was explicitly included in the transition state model used to derive the dynamics. I speculated whether in fact the spatial distribution of counterions and solvent (set up by explicit hydrogen bonds and O…Na+ interactions) might in fact be perturbed from un-influential randomness by co-ordination to the carbonyl group present in the system. I also raised the issue of what the origin of the electronic effects leading to the major product might be.