Solution-phase rate constants for the addition of selected olefins to the triethylsilyl and tris(trimethylsilyl)silyl radicals are measured using laser-flash photolysis and competition kinetics. The results are compared with predictions from density functional theory (DFT) calculations, both with and without dispersion corrections obtained from the exchange-hole dipole moment (XDM) model. Without a dispersion correction, the rate constants are consistently underestimated; the errors increase with system size, up to 106 s-1 for the largest system considered. Dispersion interactions preferentially stabilize the transition states relative to the separated reactants and bring the DFT-calculated rate constants into excellent agreement with experiment. Thus, dispersion interactions are found to play a key role in determining the kinetics for addition reactions, particularly those involving sterically bulky functional groups.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry A119, no. 22 (7 May 2015): 5883–5888.