Computational Modeling Of A Stereoselective Epoxidation: Reaction Of Carene With Peroxyformic Acid

Stephanie Megan Koskowich , '07, Swarthmore College
Winslow Collins Johnson , '07, Swarthmore College


Electronic structure theory was used to model the epoxidation of 3-carene by peroxyformic acid. Reactants, products, and transition states were optimized at the B3LYP/6-31G* level of theory, followed by B3LYP/6-311+G** and MP2/6-311+G** single point calculations. The reaction pathway yielding the trans-epoxide product was found to have a significantly lower reaction barrier (7.8 kcal/mol) than that leading to the cis-epoxide product (9.4 kcal/mol), in agreement with expectations. Magnetic shieldings of the two isomeric carene epoxides were also calculated, using the GIAO method, and compared to experimental H-1 and C-13 NMR spectra. Although the calculated carbon spectra proved inconclusive, the proton shieldings calculated for the trans-epoxide correlated much more closely to the experimental values for the major epoxidation product than did the shieldings calculated for the cis-epoxide, serving to verify the identity of the major product.