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J Phys Chem A. 2005 Apr 21;109(15):3405-10.

Conformational effects on optical rotation. 2-Substituted butanes.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8107, USA.


The specific rotations of 2-substituted butanes (X = F, Cl, CN, and HCC) were calculated at the B3LYP/aug-cc-pVDZ level as a function of the C-C-C-C torsion angle. The results for the four compounds are remarkably similar, despite large differences in the electronic transition energies. The temperature dependence of the specific rotations for 2-methylbutyronitrile and for 2-chlorobutane was studied to give experimental information about the effect of the torsion angle on the specific rotation. The results were in good accord with B3LYP/aug-cc-pVDZ calculations. The specific rotations derived from the study of 2-chlorobutane are similar to those previously obtained for 3-chloro-1-butene, indicating that the double bond does not have a large effect on the optical rotations, but it did lead to a large difference between calculated and observed specific rotations.

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