Comprehensive theoretical studies on the gas phase SN2 reactions of anionic nucleophiles toward chloroamine and N-chlorodimethylamine with inversion and retention mechanisms.
The anionic S(N)2 reactions at neutral nitrogen, Nu(-) + NR(2)Cl ? NR(2)Nu + Cl(-) (R = H, Me; Nu = F, Cl, Br, OH, SH, SeH, NH(2), PH(2), AsH(2)) have been systematically studied computationally at the modified G2(+) level. Two reaction mechanisms, inversion and retention of configuration, have been investigated. The main purposes of this work are to explore the reactivity trend of anions toward NR(2)Cl (R = H, Me), the steric effect on the potential energy surfaces, and the leaving ability of the anion in S(N)2@N reactions. Our calculations indicate that the complexation energies are determined by the gas basicity (GB) of the nucleophile and the electronegativity (EN) of the attacking atom, and the overall reaction barrier in the inversion pathway is basically controlled by the GB value of the nucleophile. The retention pathway in the reactions of NR(2)Cl with Nu(-) (Nu = F, Cl, Br, OH, SH, SeH) is energetically unfavorable due to the barriers being larger than those in the inversion pathway by more than 120 kJ mol(-1). Activation strain model analyses show that a higher deformation energy and a weaker interaction between deformed reactants lead to higher overall barriers in the reactions of NMe(2)Cl than those in the reactions of NH(2)Cl. Our studies on the reverse process of the title reactions suggest that the leaving ability of the anion in the gas phase anionic S(N)2@N reactions is mainly determined by the strength of the N-LG bond, which is related to the negative hyperconjugation inherent in NR(2)Nu (R = H, Me; Nu = HO, HS, HSe, NH(2), PH(2), AsH(2)).