Dynamics and Entropy of Cyclohexane Rings Control pH-Responsive Reactivity
- Issue Date
- American Chemical Society
- JACS Au, Vol.1 No.11, pp.2070-2079
- Activation entropy (Delta S-double dagger) is not normally considered the main factor in determining the reactivity of unimolecular reactions. Here, we report that the intramolecular degradation of six-membered ring compounds is mainly determined by the Delta S-double dagger, which is strongly influenced by the ring-flipping motion and substituent geometry. Starting from the unique difference between the pH-dependent degradation kinetics of geometric isomers of 1,2-cyclohexanecarboxylic acid amide (1,2-CHCAA), where only the cis isomer can readily degrade under weakly acidic conditions (pH < 5.5), we found that the difference originated from the large difference in Delta S-double dagger of 16.02 cal.mol(-1).K-1. While cis-1,2-CHCAA maintains a preference for the classical chair cyclohexane conformation, trans-1,2-CHCAA shows dynamic interconversion between the chair and twisted boat conformations, which was supported by both MD simulations and VT-NMR analysis. Steric repulsion between the bulky 1,2-substituents of the trans isomer is one of the main reasons for the reduced energy barrier between ring conformations that facilitates dynamic ring inversion motions. Consequently, the more dynamic trans isomer exhibits much a larger loss in entropy during the activation process due to the prepositioning of the reactant than the cis isomer, and the pH-dependent degradation of the trans isomer is effectively suppressed. When the ring inversion motion is inhibited by an additional methyl substituent on the cyclohexane ring, the pH degradability can be dramatically enhanced for even the trans isomer. This study shows a unique example in which spatial arrangement and dynamic properties can strongly influence molecular reactivity in unimolecular reactions, and it will be helpful for the future design of a reactive structure depending on dynamic conformational changes.
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