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Theoretical study of the decomposition reactions in substituted nitrobenzenes

Abstract : The influence of substituent nature and position on the unimolecular decomposition of nitroaromatic compounds was investigated using the density functional theory at a PBE0/6-31+G(d,p) level. As the starting point, the two main reaction paths for the decomposition of nitrobenzene were analyzed: the direct carbon nitrogen dissociation (C6H5O + NO) and a two step mechanism leading to the formation of phenoxyl and nitro radicals (C6H5O + NO). The dissociation energy of the former reaction was calculated to be 7.5 kcal/mol lower than the activation energy of the second reaction. Then the Gibbs-free energies were computed for 15 nitrobenzene derivatives characterized by different substituents (nitro, methyl, amino, carboxylic acid, and hydroxyl) in the ortho, meta, and para positions. In meta position, no significant changes appeared in the reaction energy profiles whereas ortho and para substitutions led to significant deviations in energies on the decomposition mechanisms due to the resonance effect of the nitro group without changing the competition between these mechanisms. In the case of para and meta substitutions, the carbon-nitro bond dissociation energy has been directly related to the Hammett constant as an indicator of the electron donor-acceptor effect of substituents
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Guillaume Fayet, Laurent Joubert, Patricia Rotureau, Carlo Adamo. Theoretical study of the decomposition reactions in substituted nitrobenzenes. Journal of Physical Chemistry A, American Chemical Society, 2008, 112 (17), pp.4054-4059. ⟨10.1021/jp800043x⟩. ⟨ineris-00963113⟩



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