Marcus Analysis of Ambident Reactivity


  • We thank the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (scholarship to M.B.) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB749) for financial support.


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A better approach to ambident reactivity: The principle of hard and soft acids and bases (HSAB) cannot rationalize the reactivities of even the prototypical ambident nucleophiles shown in the picture. Marcus theory, which describes activation energies by a combination of intrinsic and thermodynamic terms, is a superior alternative.