Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Summary We have investigated some possible initial steps in the unimolecular thermal decompositions of 1,3-diazacyclobutane and its 1,3-dinitramine derivative, the latter being selected as the simplest example of a symmetric cyclic nitramine. Vibrational analyses were used to identify normal modes that, in the extreme limits, would correspond to bond rupture and molecular decomposition. The energy requirements for ring fragmentation and N-N bond-breaking were computed at the MP4/6-31G level, using SCF 3-21G optimized structures. It was concluded that ring-fragmentation is a probable initiating step in the decomposition of the unsubstituted molecule, and that it is roughly competitive with N-N bond scission for the dinitramine. The nitronitrite rearrangement is predicted, on the basis of SCF calculations, to be less likely than either of the other two processes. It is proposed that N-N bond-breaking may be of primary importance for nitramine stability, but that energetic performance may be determined more by decomposition pathways having energy barriers.
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