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Issue 10, 2002
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A computational investigation of the structure of the novel anomeric amide N-azido-N-methoxyformamide and its concerted decomposition to methyl formate and nitrogen

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Abstract

Treatment of N-alkoxy-N-chloro- or N-acetoxyamides with sodium azide in aqueous acetonitrile results in SN2 displacement of chlorine or acetate and the formation of reactive N-alkoxy-N-azidoamides which undergo a concerted decomposition to esters and nitrogen. The properties of the model N-azido-N-methoxyformamide have been computed at the B3LYP/6-31G* hybrid density functional level of theory. It is a typical anomeric amide in that the nitrogen is strongly sp3 hybridised resulting in a low amide isomerisation barrier. It decomposes in a two-step process involving exothermic loss of N2 to give 1-formyl-1-methoxydiazene which spontaneously undergoes a HERON decomposition to methyl formate and N2. Overall, the process is highly exothermic (ΔG between −654 and −659 kJ mol−1). The competitive one-step HERON process involving formation of methyl formate and tetrazene is kinetically unfavourable. Sterically hindered ester formation will be facilitated by both exothermicity and a transition state for ester formation which avoids a sterically crowded tetrahedral intermediate.

Graphical abstract: A computational investigation of the structure of the novel anomeric amide N-azido-N-methoxyformamide and its concerted decomposition to methyl formate and nitrogen

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Article information


Submitted
01 May 2002
Accepted
31 Jul 2002
First published
30 Aug 2002

J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 2, 2002, 1740-1746
Article type
Paper

A computational investigation of the structure of the novel anomeric amide N-azido-N-methoxyformamide and its concerted decomposition to methyl formate and nitrogen

S. A. Glover and A. Rauk, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 2, 2002, 1740
DOI: 10.1039/B204232K

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