2020 Volume 68 Issue 8 Pages 737-741
Cycloaddition catalyzed by transition metals such as rhodium (I) is an important way to synthesize functionalized molecules in medicinal chemistry. When the reagent has a saturated ring containing more than five carbons (or heavy atoms), the reaction can progress when the compound has an allenyl group, but not for a vinyl group. Here, we constructed two computational models for allenylcyclopentane-alkyne and vinylcyclopentane-alkyne, and obtained their reaction pathways using density functional theory (DFT). From the reaction pathways, we confirmed that the former model has a much lower reaction energy than the latter. We also found that the molecular orbitals of the transition state structure at the rate-controlling step contribute significantly to the difference in reactivity between the two models.