The Alkaline Hydrolysis of Sulfonate Esters: Challenges in Interpreting Experimental and Theoretical Data
2014 (English)In: Journal of Organic Chemistry, ISSN 0022-3263, E-ISSN 1520-6904, Vol. 79, no 7, 2816-2828 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Sulfonate ester hydrolysis has been the subject of recent debate, with experimental evidence interpreted in terms of both stepwise and concerted mechanisms. In particular, a recent study of the alkaline hydrolysis of a series of benzene arylsulfonates (Babtie et al., Org. Biomol. Chem. 10, 2012, 8095) presented a nonlinear Bronsted plot, which was explained in terms of a change from a stepwise mechanism involving a pentavalent intermediate for poorer leaving groups to a fully concerted mechanism for good leaving groups and supported by a theoretical study. In the present work, we have performed a detailed computational study of the hydrolysis of these compounds and find no computational evidence for a thermodynamically stable intermediate for any of these compounds. Additionally, we have extended the experimental data to include pyridine-3-yl benzene sulfonate and its N-oxide and N-methylpyridinium derivatives. Inclusion of these compounds converts the Bronsted plot to a moderately scattered but linear correlation and gives a very good Hammett correlation. These data suggest a concerted pathway for this reaction that proceeds via an early transition state with little bond cleavage to the leaving group, highlighting the care that needs to be taken with the interpretation of experimental and especially theoretical data.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 79, no 7, 2816-2828 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-224571DOI: 10.1021/jo402420tISI: 000334016500002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-224571DiVA: diva2:717930