Computational Investigation on the Role of Disilene Substituents Toward N2O Activation

2016-12-07T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Bholanath Maity Debasis Koley
The effect of substituents in disilene mediated N2O activation was studied at the M06-2X/QZVP//ωB97xD/TZVP level of theory. The relationship between structural diversity and the corresponding reactivity of six disilenes (IA–Ft) in the presence of four different substituents (−NMe2, −Cl, −Me, −SiMe3) is addressed in this investigation. We primarily propose two plausible mechanistic routes: Pathway I featuring disilene → silylene decomposition followed by N2O coordination and Pathway II constituting the N2O attack without Si–Si bond cleavage. Depending on the fashion of N2O approach the latter route was further differentiated into Pathway IIa and Pathway IIb detailing the “end-on” and “side-on” attack to the disilene scaffold. Interestingly, the lone pair containing substituents (−NMe2, −Cl,) facilitates disilene → silylene dissociation; on the contrary it reduces the electrophilicity at Si center in silylene, a feature manifested with higher activation barrier during N2O attack. In the absence of any lone-pair influence from substituents (−Me, −SiMe3), the decomposition of disilenes is considerably endothermic. Therefore, Pathway I appears to be the less preferred route for both types of substituents. In Pathway IIa, the N2O moiety uniformly approaches via O-end to both the silicon centers in disilenes. However, the calculations reveal that Pathway IIa, although not operational for all disilenes, is unlikely to be a viable route due to the predominantly higher transition barrier (ca. 36 kcal/mol). The most feasible route in this current study accompanying moderately low activation barriers (∼19–26 kcal/mol) is Pathway IIb, which involves successive addition of two N2O units proceeding via terminal N, O toward the Si centers and is applicable for all disilenes. The reactivity of substituted disilenes can be estimated in terms of the first activation barrier of N2O attack. Surprisingly, in Pathway IIb, the initial activation barrier and hence the reactivity shows negligible correlation with Si–Si bond strength, indicating toward the versatility of the reaction route.