Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 2004, 69, 984-995

Attenuation of the Substituent Effects Along the Aliphatic Chain

Stanislav Böhma and Otto Exnerb,*

a Department of Organic Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, 166 28 Prague 6, Czech Republic
b Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 166 10 Prague 6, Czech Republic


Two series of model compounds were devised to follow the attenuation of substituent effects with an interposed methylene group: short-chain aliphatic compounds 1 and derivatives of bicyclo[2.2.2]octane 5. In all compounds, chlorine atom acts as substituent and charged oxygen atom as the functional group; the interaction of both is measured by the reaction energy of the isodesmic reaction calculated at the B3LYP/AUG-cc-pVTZ//B3LYP/6-311+G(d,p) and/or B3LYP/6-311+G(d,p) levels. Attenuation of the substituent inductive effect with the distance is less steep than observed previously in solution. It depends also markedly on the conformation but cannot be reproduced, not even approximately, by the electrostatic formula. Only for simple regular conformations, it can be described approximately by an exponential function with the transmission factor for one methylene group equal to 0.74. The behavior of isolated molecules differs in this case distinctly from the reactivity in solution. Nevertheless, the significance of the two formulas, electrostatic and exponential, is similar in the isolated molecules and in solution. These formulas represent only two different, rather crude mathematical approximations and cannot be given any physical meaning.

Keywords: Substituent effect; Reaction energy; Isodesmic reaction; Inductive effect; Bicyclooctane derivatives; Methylene groups; Aliphatic compounds; Ab initio calculations; DFT.

References: 41 live references.