This paper describes a physical organic study of the relationship between the rate for an interfacial Diels-Alder reaction and the steric environment around the reacting molecules. The study used as a model reaction the cycloaddition of cyclopentadiene with a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) presenting benzoquinone groups surrounded by hydroxyl-terminated alkanethiolates. The accessibility of the quinone was varied by preparing monolayers from hydroquinone-terminated alkanethiols of different lengths [HS-(CH2)n-HQ, n = 6-14] and a hydroxyl-terminated alkanethiol [HS(CH2)11-OH] of constant length. Cyclic voltammetry was used to measure the rate of the reaction by monitoring the decay of the redox-active quinone. The second-order rate constant showed a modest change as the position of quinone was varied relative to the hydroxyl groups of the monolayer. For monolayers wherein the quinone groups were extended from the interface, the rate constants oscillated near 0.20 M-1 s-1 with an even-odd dependence on the length of the alkanethiol. For monolayers that positioned the quinone groups below the surrounding hydroxyl groups, the rate constants decreased by approximately 8-fold. Examination of the activation parameters revealed that the quinone groups that were positioned below the interface (and in a crowded environment) reacted with an enthalpy of activation that was 4 kcal/mol greater than did the quinones that were accessible at the interface. The reaction of the buried quinone, however, proceeded with an entropy of activation that was more favorable by 13 eu, and therefore with a similar free energy of activation. The combination of SAMs for preparing model interfaces and cyclic voltammetry for measuring rates provides a new opportunity for physical organic studies of interfacial reactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry