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  1. The ability to control molecular-scale motion using electrostatic interactions was demonstrated using an N -phenylsuccinimide molecular rotor with an electrostatic pyridyl-gate. Protonation of the pyridal-gate forms stabilizing electrostatic interactions in the transition state of the bond rotation process that lowers the rotational barrier and increases the rate of rotation by two orders of magnitude. Molecular modeling and energy decomposition analysis confirm the dominant role of attractive electrostatic interactions in lowering the bond rotation transition state.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 12, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  3. Carbon atom functionalization via generation of carbanions is the cornerstone of carborane chemistry. In this work, we report the synthesis and structural characterization of free ortho-carboranyl [C2B10H11]−, a three-dimensional inorganic analog of the elusive phenyl anion that features a “naked” carbanion center. The first example of a stable, discrete C(H)-deprotonated carborane anion was isolated as a completely separated ion pair with a crown ether-encapsulated potassium cation. An analogous approach led to the isolation and structural characterization of a doubly deprotonated 1,1′-bis(o-carborane) anion [C2B10H10]22−, which is the first example of a discrete molecular dicarbanion. These reactive carbanions are key intermediates inmore »carbon vertex chemistry of carborane clusters.« less
  4. A series of molecular rotors was designed to study and measure the rate accelerating effects of an intramolecular hydrogen bond. The rotors form a weak neutral O–H⋯OC hydrogen bond in the planar transition state (TS) of the bond rotation process. The rotational barrier of the hydrogen bonding rotors was dramatically lower (9.9 kcal mol −1 ) than control rotors which could not form hydrogen bonds. The magnitude of the stabilization was significantly larger than predicted based on the independently measured strength of a similar O–H⋯OC hydrogen bond (1.5 kcal mol −1 ). The origins of the large transition state stabilizationmore »were studied via experimental substituent effect and computational perturbation analyses. Energy decomposition analysis of the hydrogen bonding interaction revealed a significant reduction in the repulsive component of the hydrogen bonding interaction. The rigid framework of the molecular rotors positions and preorganizes the interacting groups in the transition state. This study demonstrates that with proper design a single hydrogen bond can lead to a TS stabilization that is greater than the intrinsic interaction energy, which has applications in catalyst design and in the study of enzyme mechanisms.« less
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023