Why do cycloaddition reactions involving C60 prefer [6,6] over [5,6] bonds?

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The origin of the experimentally known preference for [6,6] over [5,6] bonds in cycloaddition reactions involving C60 has been computationally explored. To this end, the Diels-Alder reaction between cyclopentadiene and C60 has been analysed by means of the recently introduced activation strain model of reactivity in combination with the energy decomposition analysis method. Other issues, such as the aromaticity of the corresponding transition states, have also been considered. These results indicate that the major factor controlling the observed regioselectivity is the more stabilising interaction between the deformed reactants in the [6,6] reaction pathway along the entire reaction coordinate. Why [6,6]? The preference for [6,6] over [5,6] bonds in cycloaddition reactions involving C60 is experimentally well-established (see figure). However, the reasons (i.e., physical factors) behind this preference are so far completely unknown. By means of the recently introduced activation strain model of reactivity in combination with the energy decomposition analysis method, a definite answer to the question in the title is provided ​
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