Catch and Release: Orbital Symmetry Guided Reaction Dynamics from a Freed "Tension Trapped Transition State".
The dynamics of reactions at or in the immediate vicinity of transition states are critical to reaction rates and product distributions, but direct experimental probes of those dynamics are rare. Here, s-trans, s-trans 1,3-diradicaloid transition states are trapped by tension along the backbone of purely cis-substituted gem-difluorocyclopropanated polybutadiene using the extensional forces generated by pulsed sonication of dilute polymer solutions. Once released, the branching ratio between symmetry-allowed disrotatory ring closing (of which the trapped diradicaloid structure is the transition state) and symmetry-forbidden conrotatory ring closing (whose transition state is nearby) can be inferred. Net conrotatory ring closing occurred in 5.0 ± 0.5% of the released transition states, in excellent agreement with ab initio molecular dynamics simulations.
Wang, J; Ong, MT; Kouznetsova, TB; Lenhardt, JM; Martínez, TJ; Craig, SL
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