The electrophilic aromatic bromination of benzenes: mechanistic and regioselective insights from density functional theory

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Samenvatting

The HBr-assisted electrophilic aromatic bromination of benzene, anisole and nitrobenzene was investigated using static DFT calculations in gas phase and implicit apolar (CCl4) and polar (acetonitrile) solvent models at the ωB97X-D/cc-pVTZ level of theory. The reaction profiles corresponding to either a direct substitution reaction or an addition-elimination process were constructed and insight into the preferred regioselectivity was provided using a combination of conceptual DFT reactivity indices, aromaticity indices, Wiberg bond indices and the non-covalent interaction index. Our results show that under the considered reaction conditions the bromination reaction preferentially occurs through an addition-elimination mechanism and without formation of a stable charged Wheland intermediate. The ortho/para directing effect of the electron-donating methoxy-group in anisole was ascribed to a synergy between strong electron delocalisation and attractive interactions. In contrast, the preferred meta-addition on nitrobenzene could not be traced back to any of these effects, nor to the intrinsic reactivity property of the reactant. In this case, an electrostatic clash between the ipso-carbon of the ring and the nitrogen atom resulting from the later nature of the rate-determining step, with respect to anisole, appeared to play a crucial role.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)28581-28594
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Volume25
Nummer van het tijdschrift42
DOI's
StatusPublished - 1 sep 2023

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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