The Journal of organic chemistry

Dissection of activation parameters in the bell-shaped α-effect following solvent modulation (DMSO-H2O media).

PMID 23915364


This paper comprises results of our investigation of the α-effect phenomenon for the reaction of O-p-nitrophenyl thionobenzoate (PNPTB) with butane-2,3-dione monoximate (Ox(-), α-nucleophile) and p-chlorophenoxide (p-ClPhO(-), normal-nucleophile) in DMSO-H2O mixtures of varying compositions at 15.0 °C, 25.0 °C, and 35.0 °C. The reactivity of Ox(-) and p-ClPhO(-) increases significantly as the DMSO content in the medium increases, although the effects of medium on reactivity are not the same for the reactions with Ox(-) and p-ClPhO(-). Ox(-) exhibits the α-effect in all solvent compositions and temperatures. The α-effect increases up to 50 mol % DMSO and then decreases thereafter, resulting in a bell-shaped α-effect profile. Dissection of the activation parameters (i.e., ΔH(‡) and TΔS(‡)) has revealed that the bell-shaped α-effect behavior is due to entropy of activation differences rather than enthalpy terms, although the enthalpy term controls almost entirely the solvent dependence of the reaction rate. Differences in the transition-state (TS) structures for the reactions with Ox(-) (a six-membered cyclic TS) and p-ClPhO(-) (an acyclic TS) are consistent with the entropy-dependent α-effect behavior.