Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tunnelling control of chemical reactions – the organic chemist’s perspective

Ley, D.; Gerbig, D.; Schreiner, P. R. Org. Biomol. Chem., 2012, 10, 3781 (Paywall)
Contributed by Steven Bachrach.
Reposted from Computational Organic Chemistry with permission

Schreiner has written a very nice review of the role of tunneling in organic chemistry.1 This includes tunneling in the conformations of carboxylic acids and in hydrogen abstractions. But the major emphasis is on his own group’s contributions regarding tunneling on a variety of hydroxycarbenes (see these posts: cyclopropylhydroxycarbenemethylhydroxycarbenephenylhydroxycarbenedihydroxycarbene, and hydroxymethylene). This led to the development of a third means for controlling reactions: not just kinetic and thermodynamic control, but tunneling control as well.

Recommended reading for anyone interested in learning how quantum mechanical tunneling can have very real-world chemical consequences.

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