A perturbation molecular orbital theory of gas-phase dissociative electron-transfer rates


Gasphase dissociative electron-transfer (ET) reactions are examined in the light of modern electron-transfer theory and a perturbation molecular orbital (PMO) model for ion-molecule collision rates. Two dissociative ET reactions reported by Knighton and Grimsrud—the reaction of azulene anion with dibromodifluoromethane and with carbon tetrachloride—happened in the inverted region of the relationship between reaction rate and free energy. Carbon-halogen vibration participation in dissociative ET reactions is demonstrated in two reaction series. Carbon-hydrogen stretch (3050 cm−1) activation of electron transfer happened in the most exothermic reaction series: dissociative capture to form bromide from bromotrichloromethane The reasons for the failure of classical ion-molecule collision theory to give a quantitative account of reactive ion-molecule collision rates are presented in some detail. The fundamental failure is a result of a previously unappreciated change in the polarizability of a molecule when the orbitals on the molecule overlap with those on an adjacent ion. The molecular orbital-based collision model used here avoids the need to evaluate the changes in the polarizability tensor with overlap.

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Dougherty, R.C. A perturbation molecular orbital theory of gas-phase dissociative electron-transfer rates. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom 8, 510–518 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1016/S1044-0305(97)00004-4

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