0
$\begingroup$

Is there a molecular orbital/Woodward-Hoffmann explanation as to why Diels-Alder reactants don't commonly undergo electrocyclization instead of cycloaddition?

$\endgroup$

closed as off-topic by Tyberius, Mithoron, Mathew Mahindaratne, Karsten Theis, Todd Minehardt Jul 31 at 23:39

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2
$\begingroup$

The Woodward-Hoffmann rules only tell you whether a reaction is thermally allowed or not, they do not give any indication of the relative rates of multiple allowed reactions.

I guess you're asking why the 4π component in a [4+2]-cycloaddition doesnt undergo a conrotatory 4π electrocyclic ring-closure? This is plausible, but I suppose even if it did happen the cyclobutene product is highly strained so the equilibrium would lie in favour of the ring-opened diene anyway.

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.