Chemoselective quantum control of carbon bonds in Grignard reactions using shaped laser pulses

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 15780-15787 published on 16.11.2010
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

Grignard reactants like methylmagnesium chloride are not selective with respect to different carbonyl bonds. We present a theoretical study where shaped laser pulses are utilized to prefer specific bonds in a mixture of more than one carbonyl reactant. A mixture of cyclohexanone and cyclopentanone has been chosen as a representative example. The light pulse is supposed to provide the activation energy and to adopt the function of a protecting group. The control aim is to stretch exclusively the C–O bond of one compound to the length required in the Grignard transition state. To guarantee an experimentally realizable bandwidth for the unshaped pulse, we use our recently developed optimal control theory algorithm, which allows the simultaneous optimization of the light field in the time and frequency domain. Highly selective picosecond control pulses could be optimized in the infrared regime suggesting that laser assisted chemoselectivity is possible to a large extent. To obtain control not only on the final product but also on the excitation mechanism, various initial conditions and frequency restrictions were investigated.

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