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J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Apr 28;126(16):5174-81.

Solvent nucleophilicity.

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  • 1Department Chemie der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Butenandtstrasse 5-13 (Haus F), D-81377 München, Germany.


The rates of the reactions of benzhydrylium ions (diarylcarbenium ions) with solvent mixtures of variable composition (water/acetonitrile, methanol/acetonitrile, ethanol/acetonitrile, ethanol/water, and trifluoroethanol/water) have been determined photometrically by conventional UV-vis spectroscopy, stopped-flow methods, and laser flash techniques. It has been shown that the first-order rate constants follow the previously published relationship log k(20 degrees C) = s(N + E), where E is an empirical electrophilicity parameter, N is an empirical nucleophilicity parameter, and s is a nucleophile-specific slope parameter. From plots of log k versus E of the benzhydrylium ions are derived the solvent nucleophilicity parameters s and N, the latter of which are designated as N1 to emphasize that their use in the quoted correlation equation gives rise to first-order rate constants. A linear correlation between N1 and Kevill's solvent nucleophilicity NT based on S-methyldibenzothiophenium ions is reported, which allows one to interconvert the two sets of data. Because the N1 values are directly comparable to the previously reported nucleophilicity parameters N for pi-systems (, the systematic design of Friedel-Crafts reactions with solvolytically generated carbocations becomes possible.

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