Reactions of 1,3-cyclohexadiene with singlet oxygen. A theoretical study

J Am Chem Soc. 2001 May 16;123(19):4591-600. doi: 10.1021/ja010138x.


A thorough study of the reaction of singlet oxygen with 1,3-cyclohexadiene has been made at the B3LYP/6-31G(d) and CASPT2(12e,10o) levels. The initial addition reaction follows a stepwise diradical pathway to form cyclohexadiene endoperoxide with an activation barrier of 6.5 kcal/mol (standard level = CASPT2(12e,10o)/6-31G(d); geometries and zero-point corrections at B3LYP/6-31G(d)), which is consistent with an experimental value of 5.5 kcal/mol. However, as the enthalpy of the transition structure for the second step is lower than the diradical intermediate, the reaction might also be viewed as a nonsynchronous concerted reaction. In fact, the concertedness of the reaction is temperature dependent since entropy differences create a free energy barrier for the second step of 1.8 kcal/mol at 298 K. There are two ene reactions; one is a concerted mechanism (DeltaH(double dagger) = 8.8 kcal/mol) to 1-hydroperoxy-2,5-cyclohexadiene (5), while the other, which forms 1-hydroperoxy-2,4-cyclohexadiene (18), passes through the same diradical intermediate (9) as found on the pathway to endoperoxide. The major pathway from the endoperoxide is O-O bond cleavage (22.0 kcal/mol barrier) to form a 1,4-diradical (25), which is 13.9 kcal/mol less stable than the endoperoxide. From the diradical, two low-energy pathways exist, one to epoxyketone (29) and the other to the diepoxide (27), where both products are known to be formed experimentally with a product ratio sensitive to the nature of substitutents. A significantly higher activation barrier leads to C-C bond cleavage and direct formation of maleic aldehyde plus ethylene.