A Computational Study of Tetrafluoro-[2.2]Cyclophanes

A computational study of the isomers of tetrafluorinated [2.2]cyclophanes persubstituted in one ring, namely F<sub>4</sub>-[2.2]paracyclophane (<b>4</b>), F<sub>4</sub>-<i>anti</i>-[2.2]metacyclophane (<b>5a</b>), F<sub>4</sub>-<i>syn</i>-[2.2]metacyclophane (<b>5b</b>), and F<sub>4</sub>-[2.2]metaparacyclophane (<b>6a</b> and <b>6b</b>), was carried out. The effects of fluorination on the geometries, relative energies, local and global aromaticity, and strain energies of the bridges and rings were investigated. An analysis of the electron density by B3PW91/6-31+G(d,p), B3LYP/6-31+G(d,p), and MP2/6-31+G(d,p) was carried out using the natural bond orbitals (NBO), natural steric analysis (NSA), and atoms in molecules (AIM) methods. The analysis of frontier molecular orbitals (MOs) was also employed. The results indicated that the molecular structure of [2.2]paracyclophane is the most affected by the fluorination. Isodesmic reactions showed that the fluorinated rings are more strained than the nonfluorinated ones. The NICS, HOMA, and PDI criteria evidenced that the fluorination affects the aromaticity of both the fluorinated and the nonfluorinated rings. The NBO and NSA analyses gave an indication that the fluorination increases not only the number of through-space interactions but also their magnitude. The AIM analysis suggested that the through-space interactions are restricted to the F<sub>4</sub>-[2.2]metacyclophanes. In addition, the atomic properties, computed over the atomic basins, gave evidence that not only the substitution, but also the position of the bridges could affect the atomic charges, the first atomic moments, and the atomic volumes.