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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 16, Number 3
BKCSDE 16(3)
March 20, 1995 

Theoretical Studies on the Reactions of Acetate Esters with Substituted Phenolate Anion Nucleophiles
Woong Mook Lim, Wang Ki Kim, Hak Jin Jung, Ikchoon Lee*
Semiempirical MO calculations using the PM3 method are performed on the reactions of acetate esters with substituted phenolate anions. The mechanistic change from rate-limiting formation to breakdown of the anionic intermediate is shown to occur in the gas-phase, especially for meta-nitrophenyl acetate. However the mechanistic change-over takes place at a lower basicity (pK0) of the anion nucleophile than found for the corresponding formate. This lowering of pK0 has been ascribed to the electron donating effect of the methyl group in the acetate. For the reactions involving rate-limiting breakdown of the intermediate, the large Bronsted coefficients, β X(βnuc), are expected in general, but the magnitude increases to a larger value and the pK0 is lowered accordingly, when an electron-donating nonleaving group, like CH3, is present. This type of nonleaving group effect provides a necessary condition for the carbonyl addition-elimination mechanism with rate-limiting breakdown of the intermediate.
252 - 256
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