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Influence of Hydroxyl Substitution on Benzyne Properties. Quantum Chemical Characterization of the Didehydrophenols

Johnson, W. T. G.; Cramer, C. J.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2001, 123, 923.

Geometries and singlet-triplet splittings for the 10 geometrical isomers of didehydrophenol are characterized at a variety of levels of electronic structure theory. The influence of the hydroxyl group is primarily to increase/decrease the weight of zwitterionic singlet mesomers that place positive/negative charge adjacent to oxygen in valence bond descriptions of the arynes. For some of the meta isomers, this interaction stabilizes distortion in the direction of a bicyclic geometry. The net effect, relative to the unsubstituted benzynes, is to increase the singlet-triplet splittings in 2,3-, 2,6-, and 3,5-didehydrophenol and to decrease that splitting in 2,4- and 2,5-didehydrophenol (3,4-didehydrophenol is essentially unaffected). As shown for other arynes, the singlet-triplet splittings can also be accurately estimated by correlation with proton hyperfine coupling constants in antecedent monoradicals, these values being accessible from very economical calculations.

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