1998 Volume 71 Issue 6 Pages 1401-1407
The thermodynamic stabilities of the phenonium (ethylenebenzenium) ion and ring-substituted derivatives were determined based on the bromide-transfer equilibria in the gas phase. It has been shown that the phenonium ion is 2.4 kcal mol−1 more stable than the t-butyl cation, and that the substituent effect on its stability can be correlated with the Yukawa–Tsuno equation with a ρ value of −12.6 and an r+ of 0.62. An r+ value smaller than unity of the α-cumyl(1-methyl-1-phenylethyl) cation suggested that π-delocalization in the phenonium ion is essentially less effective than through a benzylic π-interaction. On the other hand, the ρ value of −12.6 is distinctly larger than that for the ordinary benzylic carbocation systems, but is comparable to that of the benzenium ion. In addition, it has been found that the r+ value of the phenonium ions in the gas phase is in complete agreement with that for the aryl-assisted process in the acetolysis of 2-arylethyl toluenesulfonates. This suggests that the degree of π-delocalization of the positive charge is the same in the transition state and the intermediate cation. It is concluded that an r+ value of 0.6, which is ranked at a unique position in the continuous spectrum of the resonance demand, is characteristic of the bridged structure of the phenonium ion intermediate and the transition state.
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