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On the Role of Hydrogen Bond Strength and Charge Transfer of a Diels-Alder Reaction On-Water: Semiempirical and Free Energy Calculations.
preprintsubmitted on 11.04.2021, 18:24 and posted on 12.04.2021, 13:26 by Andrés Henao Aristizábal, Yomna Gohar, René Wilhelm, Thomas D. Kühne
Accelerated chemistry at the interface with water has received increasing attention. The mechanisms behind the enhanced reactivity On-Water are not yet clear. In this work we use a Langevin scheme in the spirit of second generation Car-Parrinello to accelerate the second-order density functional Tight-Binding (DFTB2) method in order to investigate the free energy of two Diels-Alder reaction On-Water: the cycloaddition between cyclopentadiene and ethyl cinnamate or thionocinnamate. The only difference between the reactants is the substitution of a carbonyl oxygen for a thiocarbonyl sulfur, making possible the distinction between them as strong and weak hydrogen-bond acceptors. We find a different mechanism for the reaction during the transition states and uncover the role of hydrogen bonds along with the reaction path. Our results suggest that acceleration of Diels-Alder reactions do not arise from an increased number of hydrogen bonds at the transition state and charge transfer plays a significant role. However, the presence of water and hydrogen-bonds is determinant for the catalysis of these reactions.