The effects of substituents on the rate of intramolecular cyclization of the 2,5-hexadienyl radicals have been investigated computationally with DFT theory, using the UB3LYP functional. Various substituents - CN, NO2, CH3, NH2, and t-butyl - at various positions - C1, C5 and C6 - were considered in the calculations. An electron-donating substituent on the C1 position raises the radical SOMO energies to increase the interaction with the alkene LUMO, whereas an electron-withdrawing counterpart lowers the SOMO and increases the interaction with the alkene HOMO. Both interactions decrease the activation energies, by 0.9-10.2 kcal/mol, and increase the rate of reaction rate, from 3 to 2.7 × 107 times. Similar results were obtained for the substituents at the C6 position, and the activation energies for the intramolecular cyclization were decreased by 0.2-4.8 kcal/mol and the reaction rate increased from 2 to 2.8 × 103 times. The substituent at the C5 position favors the formation of a 6-endo product because of a steric effect. The effects of disubstituents at both C1 and C6 positions were also investigated; the results showed that the electron-withdrawing groups decrease most effectively the activation energies. The so-called captodative effect was also investigated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas