Unexpected Indirect Dynamics in Base-Induced Elimination

Base-induced elimination (E2) and bimolecular nucleophilic substitution (S(N)2) are two of the most versatile reactions that are important in preparative organic chemistry. These stereospecific reactions are often found in direct competition with each other. Elimination can proceed via two distinct transition states, referred to as anti and syn, of which anti is commonly energetically favored. To investigate the intrinsic dynamics of base-induced elimination, reactions under single-collision conditions are required. Here, we present reactive scattering results on the prototype reaction of the fluoride anion with tert-butyl halides. The observed mechanistic fingerprints are associated with the E2 reaction, because steric hindrance at the alpha-carbon suppresses the S(N)2 reaction [Carrascosa, E.; Meyer, J.; Zhang, J.; Stei, M.; Michaelsen, T.; Hase, W. L.; Yang, L.; Wester, R. Nat. Commun. 2017, 8, 25]. The reaction coordinate shows energetically submerged transition states, with anti favored over syn, and we found a very shallow prereaction well for anti. We predominantly found indirect dynamics for a range of collision energies, which can be separated into three remarkably different mechanisms. At low collision energies, the first is a large impact parameter indirect mechanism which leads to a forward-backward symmetric scattering signature. The second mechanism is attributed to low-impact parameter reactions with a near-statistical partitioning of the total available energy. The majority of events are associated with widespread isotropic scattering. Unexpectedly, the product ion kinetic energy distributions are independent of collision energy. We associate this with dynamic trapping in a prereaction well supported by a large centrifugal potential. These measured fingerprints support that atomistic reaction dynamics cannot be predicted based on stationary arguments alone.


Published in:
Journal Of The American Chemical Society, 141, 51, 20300-20308
Year:
Dec 25 2019
Publisher:
Washington, AMER CHEMICAL SOC
ISSN:
0002-7863
1520-5126
Keywords:
Laboratories:




 Record created 2020-01-19, last modified 2020-04-20


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