Computational study of vicarious nucleophilic substitution reactions

Lorena Meneses, Shirley Morocho, Alejandra Castellanos, Sebastián Cuesta

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2 Scopus citations


Vicarious nucleophilic substitution reactions are a versatile way of introducing substituents into aromatic and heteroaromatic electron-deficient compounds. In this project, a kinetic study of these reactions by applying quantum mechanics concepts, such as reaction force, force constant, and electronic reaction flow was proposed. Furthermore, absolute theoretical scales of electrophilicity by applying density functional theory electronic indices were established to classify a series of five and six-membered nitroheteroarenes, and nitrobenzenes with substituents in ortho, meta and para positions. The theoretical model was validated by comparison with experimental kinetic results. Calculations using B3LYP/6-311G(d,p) level of theory allowed analysis of the reactivity patterns and the mechanisms of these chemical reactions. The theoretical scale properly accounts for the activating/deactivating effects promoted by the substituents and agrees with the ability of these substituents to accept or donate electrons, electron acceptor substituents are those that increase electrophilicity, and electron donors those that reduce it.

Original languageEnglish
Article number301
JournalJournal of Molecular Modeling
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany.


  • DFT
  • Electrophilic
  • Nitroarene
  • Nucleophilic substitution
  • Reaction mechanism
  • Vicarious


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