Computational Study of the Stability of Pyrrolidine-Derived Iminium Ions: Exchange Equilibria between Iminium Ions and Carbonyl Compounds

ACS Omega. 2022 May 26;7(22):18247-18258. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.1c07020. eCollection 2022 Jun 7.


The tendency of carbonyl compounds to form iminium ions by reaction with pyrrolidine or chiral pyrrolidine derivatives (in other words, the relative stability to hydrolysis of these iminium ions) has been computationally examined, mainly using the M06-2X/6-311+G(d,p) method. We have thus obtained the equilibrium positions for R-CH=O + CH2=CH-CH=N+R2* → R-CH=N+R2* + CH2=CH-CH=O reactions and for related exchanges. In these exchanges, there is a transfer of a secondary amine between two carbonyl compounds. Their relative energies may be used to predict which iminium species can be predominantly formed when two or more carbonyl groups are present in a reaction medium. In the catalytic Michael additions of nucleophiles to iminium ions arising from conjugated enals, dienals, and trienals, if the formation of the new Nu-C bond is favorable, the chances of amino-catalyzed reactions to efficiently proceed, with high conversions, depend on the calculated energy values for these exchange equilibria, where the iminium tetrafluoroborates of the adducts (final iminium intermediates) must be more prone to hydrolysis than the initial iminium tetrafluoroborates. The density functional theory (DFT) calculations indicate that the MacMillan catalysts and related oxazolidinones are especially suitable in this regard.

PMID:35694469 | PMC:PMC9178767 | DOI:10.1021/acsomega.1c07020


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