Synthetic and model computational studies of molar rotation additivity for interacting chiral centers: a reinvestigation of van't Hoff's principle.
When plane-polarized light impinges on a solution of optically active molecules, the polarization of the light that emerges is rotated. This simple phenomenon arises from the interaction of light with matter and is well understood, in principle, van't Hoff's rule of optical superposition correlates the molar rotation with the individual contributions to optical activity of isolated centers of asymmetry. This straightforward empirical additivity rule is rarely used for structure elucidation nowadays because of its limitations in the assessment of conformationally restricted or interacting chiral centers. However, additivity can be used successfully to assign the configuration of complex natural products such as hennoxazole A if appropriate synthetic partial structures are available. Therefore, van't Hoff's principle is a powerful stereochemical complement to natural products' total synthesis. The quest for reliable quantitative methods to calculate the angle of rotation a priori has been underway for a long time. Both classical and quantum methods for calculating molar rotation have been developed. Of particular practical importance for determining the absolute structure of molecules by calculation is the manner in which interactions between multiple chiral centers in a single molecule are included, leading to additive or non-additive optical rotation angles. This problem is addressed here using semi-empirical electronic structure models and the Rosenfeld equation.
Kondru, RK; Lim, S; Wipf, P; Beratan, DN
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