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J Phys Chem A. 2006 Nov 9;110(44):12312-20.

DFT/B3LYP study of the substituent effect on the reaction enthalpies of the individual steps of single electron transfer-proton transfer and sequential proton loss electron transfer mechanisms of phenols antioxidant action.

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Institute of Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics, Slovak University of Technology, Radlinského 9, SK-812 37 Bratislava, Slovak Republic.


The reaction enthalpies related to the individual steps of two phenolic antioxidants action mechanisms, single electron transfer-proton transfer (SET-PT) and sequential proton loss electron transfer (SPLET), for 30 meta and para-substituted phenols (ArOH) were calculated using DFT/B3LYP method. These mechanisms represent the alternative ways to the extensively studied hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) mechanism. Except the comparison of calculated reaction enthalpies with available experimental and/or theoretical values, obtained enthalpies were correlated with Hammett constants. We have found that electron-donating substituents induce the rise in the enthalpy of proton dissociation (PDE) from ArOH+* radical cation (second step in SET-PT) and in the proton affinities of phenoxide ions ArO- (reaction enthalpy of the first step in SPLET). Electron-withdrawing groups cause the increase in the reaction enthalpies of the processes where electron is abstracted, i.e., in the ionization potentials of ArOH (first step in SET-PT) and in the enthalpy of electron transfer from ArO- (second step in SPLET). Found results indicate that all dependences of reaction enthalpies on Hammett constants of the substituents are linear. The calculations of liquid-phase reaction enthalpies for several para-substituted phenols indicate that found trends hold also in water, although substituent effects are weaker. From the thermodynamic point of view, entering SPLET mechanism represents the most probable process in water.

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