The mechanism of 1,2-addition of disilene and silene. 1. Water and alcohol addition

T. Veszprémi, M. Takahashi, B. Hajgató, M. Kira

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The mechanism of 1,2-addition reactions of water, methanol, and trifluoromethanol to Si=Si, Si=C, and C=C bonds has been investigated by ab initio quantum chemical methods. Geometries and relative energies of the stationary points and all the transition states were determined using the MP2/6-311++G(d,p), B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p), and CBS-Q levels of theory. The investigated reactions can be characterized by two main thermodynamical profiles. The type in which the reagent molecule attacks a carbon atom is moderately exothermic, with a high activation barrier. The second type, in which water or alcohol attacks a silicon, is strongly exothermic, with a small activation energy. At the early stage of all the reactions, a weakly bonded initial complex is found which determines the further mechanism of the reaction. On the basis of the HOMO, LUMO, and Laplacian of electron distribution of disilene and silene, several mechanisms have been assumed, depending on the substrate (disilene, substituted disilene, silene, or ethene) and the reagent (water, methanol, or trifluoromethanol). The reaction diagrams and proposed mechanisms explain the experimentally found regioselectivity and diastereoselectivity well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6629-6638
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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