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3-Benzylbenzothiazolylidene Carbene Catalyzed Isomerization of Dimethyl Maleate to Dimethyl Fumarate: Experimental and Theoretical Results

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 2 ]


Minita Ojha, Shweta Choudhary and Raj K. Bansal*   Pages 108 - 117 ( 10 )


Background: N-Heterocyclic Carbenes (NHCs) have emerged as ubiquitous species having applications in a broad range of fields, including organocatalysis and organometallic chemistry. Since Arduengo and co-workers first isolated a bottlable NHC, namely imidazol-2-ylidene derivative, these nucleophilic species have attained a prominent place in synthetic organic chemistry. The NHC-induced non-asymmetric catalysis has turned out to be a really fruitful area of research in recent years.

Methods and Results: The quantitative aspects of the experimental and theoretical investigation of isomerization of dimethyl maleate to dimethyl fumarate catalyzed by an N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC), namely 3-benzylbenzothiazolylidene are being reported for the first time. Dimethyl maleate on treating with 3-benzylbenzothiazolylidene carbene (10 mol%), generated in situ from the reaction of 3- benzylbenzothiazolium bromide with triethylamine in diethyl ether at room temperature under nitrogen atmosphere isomerizes quantitatively to dimethyl fumarate. Theoretical investigation of a model reaction scheme at the wB97XD/6-31+G(d) level reveals that initial attack of the carbene, which is the ratedetermining step, is followed by rotation about the C-C bond in preference to a higher activation free energy path involving proton abstraction. The species so formed splits off the carbene to yield dimethyl fumarate. Eyring equation has been used to rationalize the effect of temperature on the isomerization rate.

Conclusions and Perspective: 3-Benzylbenzothiazolylidene carbene catalyzes the isomerization of dimethyl maleate to its trans-isomer. This carbene can be used in other catalytic reactions, such as acyloin condensation and Stetter reaction.


Nitrogen heterocyclic carbene, organocatalysis, isomerization, dimethyl maleate, DFT calculations, dispersion correction, Eyring equation.


Department of Chemistry, The IIS deemed to be University, Jaipur 302 020, Department of Chemistry, The IIS deemed to be University, Jaipur 302 020, Department of Chemistry, The IIS deemed to be University, Jaipur 302 020

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