“Give us insight, not numbers” was Coulson’s admonition to theoretical chemists. This Review shows that the valence bond (VB)-model provides insights and some good numbers for one of the fundamental reactions in nature, the hydrogen-atom transfer (HAT). The VB model is applied to over 50 reactions from the simplest H + H2 process, to P450 hydroxylations and H-transfers among closed-shell molecules; for each system the barriers are estimated from raw data. The model creates a bridge to the Marcus equation and shows that H-atom abstraction by a closed-shell molecule requires a higher barrier owing to the additional promotion energy needed to prepare the abstractor for H-abstraction. Under certain conditions, a closed-shell abstractor can bypass this penalty through a proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) mechanism. The VB model links the HAT and PCET mechanisms conceptually and shows the consequences that this linking has for H-abstraction reactivity.
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.