Conformational Analysis of Enantiomerization Coupled to Internal Rotation in Triptycyl-n-helicenes.
We present a computational study of a reduced potential energy surface (PES) to describe enantiomerization and internal rotation in three triptycyl-n-helicene molecules, centering the discussion on the issue of a proper reaction coordinate choice. To reflect the full symmetry of both strongly coupled enantiomerization and rotation processes, two non-fixed combinations of dihedral angles must be used, implying serious computational problems that required the development of a complex general algorithm. The characteristic points on each PES are analyzed, the intrinsic reaction coordinates calculated, and finally projected on the reduced PES. Unlike what was previously found for triptycyl-3-helicene, the surfaces for triptycyl-4-helicene and triptycyl-5-helicene contain valley-ridge-inflection (VRI) points. The reaction paths on the reduced surfaces are analyzed to understand the dynamical behaviour of these molecules and to evaluate the possibility of a molecule of this family exhibiting a Brownian ratchet behaviour.