Experimental Evidence for Heavy-Atom Tunneling in the Ring-Opening of Cyclopropylcarbinyl Radical from Intramolecular 12C/13C Kinetic Isotope Effects
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The intramolecular (13)C kinetic isotope effects for the ring-opening of cyclopropylcarbinyl radical were determined over a broad temperature range. The observed isotope effects are unprecedentedly large, ranging from 1.062 at 80 degrees C to 1.163 at -100 degrees C. Semiclassical calculations employing canonical variational transition-state theory drastically underpredict the observed isotope effects, but the predicted isotope effects including tunneling by a small-curvature tunneling model match well with experiment. These results and a curvature in the Arrhenius plot of the isotope effects support the recently predicted importance of heavy-atom tunneling in cyclopropylcarbinyl ring-opening.