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Computational Electrochemistry: Aqueous One-Electron Oxidation Potentials for Substituted Anilines

Winget, P.; Weber, E. J.; Cramer, C. J.; Truhlar, D. G.
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2000, 2, 1231.

Semiempirical molecular orbital theory and density functional theory are used to compute one-electron oxidation potentials for aniline and a set of 21 mono- and di-substituted anilines in aqueous solution. Linear relationships between theoretical predictions and experiment are constructed and provide mean unsigned errors as low as 0.02 V over a training set of 13 anilines; the error rises to 0.09 V over a test set of 8 additional anilines. A good correlation is also found between oxidation potential and a simple computed property, namely the energy of the highest occupied molecular orbital for neutral anilines in aqueous solution. For the particular case of the substituted anilines, a strong correlation between oxidation potential and pKa is found, and a still stronger correlation between oxidation potential and physical organic descriptors for aromatic substituents is also found, albeit over a reduced data set.

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