Solvent, substituent, and dimerization effects on the ring-opening mechanisms of monosilacyclopropylidenoids: a theoretical study
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Density functional theory and ab initio computations elucidated the ring-opening of substituted (R = -CF3, -CN, -CH3, -H, -NH2, -OCH3, -OH, -SiH3) 1-bromo-1-lithiosilirane 1 and 2-bromo-2-lithiosilirane 2 to LiBr complexes of 2-silaallene and 1-silaallene, respectively. Formally, two competitive pathways can be considered. The ring-opening reaction can take place through a concerted manner via TS3. Alternatively, the reaction may proceed in a stepwise fashion with the intermediacy of a free silacyclopropylidene-LiBr complex 7. In both cases, the position of the substituents determines the kinetic of the reactions. The structures with an electron-donating group are generally unstable, whereas the silacyclopropylidenoids bearing electron-withdrawing substituents are particularly stable species. Here, we propose the ring-opening of 5a-h to corresponding LiBr complexes of 2-silaallenes can proceed in both concerted and stepwise mechanism except for -H, -CH3, and -SiH3. The obtained activation energies for the ring-openings of 5a-h to related 2-silaallenes are too high for a reaction at room temperature with up to 61.4 kcal/mol. In contrast, the activation energy barriers for the isomerization of 6a-h to the LiBr complexes of 1-silaallenes was determined to be relatively low at the B3LYP/6-31+G(d,p), M06/6-31+G(d,p), and MP2/6-31+G(d,p) levels. Moreover, we have also investigated the solvent effect on the unsubstituted models using both implicit and explicit solvation models. The energy barriers of the solvated models are found to be slightly higher than the results of gas phase calculations. Additionally, the ring-opening of dimer 6 (6-Dim) is also calculated for the ring-opening mechanism with the energy barrier of 3.7 kcal/mol at B3LYP/6-31+G(d,p) level of theory.