Articles written in Journal of Chemical Sciences

    • Uncatalyzed thermal gas phase aziridination of alkenes by organic azides. Part I: Mechanisms with discrete nitrene species


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      Alkene aziridination by azides through uncatalyzed thermal gas phase routes has been studiedusing the DFT B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) method, where the possible role of discrete nitrene intermediates is emphasized.The thermal decomposition of azides is studied using the MP2/aug-cc-pVDZ strategy as well. The MP2(but not the B3LYP) results discount the existence of singlet alkylnitrenes where the alkyl group has an α-hydrogen. Addition of the lowest lying singlet and triplet nitrenes R-N (R = H, Me, Ac) to four different alkenesubstrates leading to aziridine formation was studied by the B3LYP method. Singlet nitrenes with alkenes canyield aziridines via a concerted mechanism, where H-N insertion takes place without a barrier, whereas Me-Nshows larger barriers than Ac-N. Methyl substitution in the alkene favors this reaction. Triplet nitrene additionto alkenes is studied as a two-step process, where the initially formed diradical intermediates cyclize to formaziridines by ISC (intersystem crossing) and collapse. Scope for C-C bond rotation in the diradical leads to lossof stereochemical integrity for triplet nitrene addition to cis- and trans-2-butenes. Geometries of the transitionstates in the various reaction steps studied here are described as “early” or “late” in good accordance with theHammond postulate.

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