Title page for ETD etd-05192010-002946

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Deora, Nipa
Author's Email Address ndeora@vt.edu
URN etd-05192010-002946
Title Computational Studies of Protonated Cyclic Ethers and Benzylic Organolithium Compounds
Degree PhD
Department Chemistry
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Carlier, Paul R. Committee Chair
Crawford, Daniel T. Committee Member
Etzkorn, Felicia A. Committee Member
Tanko, James M. Committee Member
Troya, Diego Committee Member
  • potential-energy surface
  • basis-set
  • epoxide
  • liga
Date of Defense 2010-05-10
Availability unrestricted
Protonated epoxides feature prominently in organic chemistry as reactive intermediates. Gas-phase calculations studying the structure and ring-opening energetics of protonated ethylene oxide, propylene oxide and 2-methyl-1,2-epoxypropane were performed at the B3LYP and MP2 levels (both with the 6-311++G** basis set). Structural analyses were performed for 10 protonated epoxides using B3LYP, MP2, and CCSD/6-311++G** calculations. Protonated 2-methyl-1,2-epoxypropane was the most problematic species studied, where relative to CCSD, B3LYP consistently overestimates the C2-O bond length. The difficulty for DFT methods in modeling the protonated isobutylene oxide is due to the weakness of this C2-O bond. Protonated epoxides featuring more symmetrical charge distribution and cyclic homologues featuring less ring strain are treated with greater accuracy by B3LYP.

Ion-pair separation (IPS) of THF-solvated fluorenyl, diphenylmethyl, and trityl lithium was studied computationally. Minimum-energy equilibrium geometries of explicit mono, bis and tris-solvated contact ion pairs (CIPs) and tetrakis-sovlated solvent separated ion pair (SSIPs) were modeled at B3LYP/6-31G*. Associative transition structures linking the tris-solvated CIPs and tetrakis-solvated SIPs were also located. In vacuum, B3LYP/6-31G* ΔHIPS values are 6-8 kcal/mol less exothermic than the experimentally-determined values in THF solution. Incorporation of secondary solvation in the form of Onsager and PCM single-point calculations showed an increase in exothermicity of IPS. Application of a continuum solvation model (Onsager) during optimization at the B3LYP/6-31G* level of theory produced significant changes in the Cα-Li contact distances in the SSIPs. An increase in of ion pair separation exothermicity was observed upon using both PCM and Onsager solvation models, highlighting the importance of both explicit and implicit solvation in modeling of ion pair separation.

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