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Title: Isomers and conformational barriers of gas phase nicotine, nornicotine and their protonated forms

We report extensive conformational searches of the neutral nicotine, nornicotine and their protonated analogs that are based on ab-initio second order Møller-Plesset perturbation (MP2) electronic structure calculations. Initial searches were performed with the 6-31G(d,p) and the energetics of the most important structures were further refined from geometry optimizations with the aug-cc-pVTZ basis set. Based on the calculated free energies at T=298 K for the gas phase molecules, neutral nicotine has two dominant trans conformers, whereas neutral nornicotine is a mixture of several conformers. For nicotine, the protonation on both the pyridine and the pyrrolidine sites is energetically competitive, whereas nornicotine prefers protonation on the pyridine nitrogen. The protonated form of nicotine is mainly a mixture of two pyridine-protonated trans conformers and two pyrrolidine-protonated trans conformers, whereas the protonated form of nornicotine is a mixture of four pyridine-protonated trans conformers. Nornicotine is conformationally more flexible than nicotine, however it is less protonated at the biologically important pyrrolidine nitrogen site. The lowest energy isomers for each case were found to interconvert via low (< 6 kcal/mol) rotational barriers around the pyridine-pyrrolidine bond.
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 118(28):8273-8285
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States