High-level ab initio calculations have been used to compare prototypical thiyl, alkoxyl, and alkyl radical addition reactions. Thiyl radical addition to the sulfur center of thioketones is exothermic and rapid, occurring with negative enthalpic barriers and only weakly positive Gibbs free energy barriers. In stark contrast, alkoxyl radical addition to the oxygen center of ketones is highly endothermic and occurs with very high reaction barriers, though these are also suppressed. On the basis of analysis of the corresponding alkyl radical additions to these substrates and the corresponding reactions of these heteroatom radicals with alkenes, it suggested that addition reactions involving thiyl radicals have low intrinsic barriers because their unpaired electrons are better able to undergo stabilizing resonance interactions with the π∗ orbitals of the substrate in the transition state.
- Radical Chemistry