Molecular mechanics calculations have been carried out to quantify the key geometric and strain effects which are likely to control the homo-Diels-Alder reactivity of 1,4-dienes. The criteria considered include C1..C5 and C2..C4 distances in the diene, twist angle of the twoπ units, and the magnitude of strain increase as a result of cycloaddition. By first considering these factors in a number of nonconjugated dienes with known reactivity, the ranges of values within which the reaction is favoured are proposed. Calculations are also reported on several substrates which have not been investigated so far. Promising systems for experimental study are suggested which, in addition to being intrinsically interesting, would place the present proposals on a firm basis.
Volume 134, 2022
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