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Steric and electronic effects on the conformations of n-butane derivatives with trichlorosilyl, silyl and trichloromethyl groups.

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School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH93JJ, UK.


The molecular structure and conformation of 1,1,1,4,4,4-hexachloro-1,4-disilabutane in the gas-phase have been determined by electron diffraction and computational methods. The lowest-energy conformation has the trichlorosilyl groups anti to one another. The gauche conformation also has a shallow potential minimum, but lies about 19 kJ mol-1 above the anti form. Calculations on related butane derivatives, in which terminal methyl groups have been replaced by CCl3, SiH3 and SiCl3 groups, reveal that the conformational preferences are primarily caused by steric interactions between the terminal groups, and that it is the presence of chlorine atoms that destabilises gauche conformations. The electronegativity of the chlorine atoms has only small effects, mainly limited to the SiCl bond lengths.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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