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Issue 24, 2020
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Quantum-chemistry-aided identification, synthesis and experimental validation of model systems for conformationally controlled reaction studies: separation of the conformers of 2,3-dibromobuta-1,3-diene in the gas phase

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Abstract

The Diels–Alder cycloaddition, in which a diene reacts with a dienophile to form a cyclic compound, counts among the most important tools in organic synthesis. Achieving a precise understanding of its mechanistic details on the quantum level requires new experimental and theoretical methods. Here, we present an experimental approach that separates different diene conformers in a molecular beam as a prerequisite for the investigation of their individual cycloaddition reaction kinetics and dynamics under single-collision conditions in the gas phase. A low- and high-level quantum-chemistry-based screening of more than one hundred dienes identified 2,3-dibromobutadiene (DBB) as an optimal candidate for efficient separation of its gauche and s-trans conformers by electrostatic deflection. A preparation method for DBB was developed which enabled the generation of dense molecular beams of this compound. The theoretical predictions of the molecular properties of DBB were validated by the successful separation of the conformers in the molecular beam. A marked difference in photofragment ion yields of the two conformers upon femtosecond-laser pulse ionization was observed, pointing at a pronounced conformer-specific fragmentation dynamics of ionized DBB. Our work sets the stage for a rigorous examination of mechanistic models of cycloaddition reactions under controlled conditions in the gas phase.

Graphical abstract: Quantum-chemistry-aided identification, synthesis and experimental validation of model systems for conformationally controlled reaction studies: separation of the conformers of 2,3-dibromobuta-1,3-diene in the gas phase

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
12 Mar 2020
Accepted
31 May 2020
First published
02 Jun 2020

This article is Open Access

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020,22, 13431-13439
Article type
Paper

Quantum-chemistry-aided identification, synthesis and experimental validation of model systems for conformationally controlled reaction studies: separation of the conformers of 2,3-dibromobuta-1,3-diene in the gas phase

A. Kilaj, H. Gao, D. Tahchieva, R. Ramakrishnan, D. Bachmann, D. Gillingham, O. A. von Lilienfeld, J. Küpper and S. Willitsch, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, 22, 13431
DOI: 10.1039/D0CP01396J

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