Posts Tagged ‘Interesting chemistry’

The strongest bond in the universe!

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

The rather presumptious title assumes the laws and fundamental constants of physics are the same everywhere (they may not be). With this constraint (and without yet defining what is meant by strongest), consider the three molecules: (more…)

The nature of the C≡S triple bond: part 3.

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

In the previous two posts, a strategy for tuning the nature of the CS bond in the molecule HO-S≡C-H was developed, based largely on the lone pair of electrons identified on the carbon atom. By replacing the HO group by one with greater σ-electron withdrawing propensity, the stereo-electronic effect between the O-S bond and the carbon lone pair was enhanced, and in the process, the SC bond was strengthened. It is time to do a control experiment in the other direction. Now, the HO-S group is replaced by a H2B-S group. The B-S bond, boron being very much less electronegative than oxygen, should be a very poor σ-acceptor. In addition, whereas oxygen was a π-electron donor (acting to strengthen the S=C region), boron is a π-acceptor, and will also act in the opposite direction. So now, this group should serve to weaken the S-C bond.

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A Disrotatory 4n+2 electron anti-aromatic Möbius transition state for a thermal electrocyclic reaction.

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Mauksch and Tsogoeva have recently published an article illustrating how a thermal electrocyclic reaction can proceed with distoratory ring closure, whilst simultaneously also exhibiting 4n electron Möbius-aromatic character (DOI 10.1002/anie.200806009). Why is this remarkable? Because the simple Woodward-Hoffmann rules state that a disrotatory thermal electrocyclic reaction should proceed via a Hückel-aromatic 4n+2 electron transition state. Famously, Woodward and Hoffmann stated there were no exceptions to this rule. Yet here we apparently have one! So what is the more fundamental? The disrotatory character, or the 4n/Möbius character in the example above? Mauksch and Tsogoeva are in no doubt; it is the former that gives, and the latter is correct.

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