Pushing the limits of the hydrogen bond enhanced halogen bond—the case of the C-H hydrogen bond

Daniel A. Decato, Jiyu Sun, Madeleine R. Boller, Orion B. Berryman

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11 Scopus citations


C-H hydrogen bonds have remarkable impacts on various chemical systems. Here we consider the influence of C-H hydrogen bonds to iodine atoms. Positioning a methyl group between two iodine halogen bond donors of the receptor engendered intramolecular C-H hydrogen bonding (HBing) to the electron-rich belt of both halogen bond donors. When coupled with control molecules, the role of the C-H hydrogen bond was evaluated. Gas-phase density functional theory studies indicated that methyl C-H hydrogen bonds help bias a bidentate binding conformation. Interaction energy analysis suggested that the charged C-H donors augment the halogen bond interaction—producing a >10 kcal mol−1 enhancement over a control lacking the C-H⋯I-C interaction. X-ray crystallographic analysis demonstrated C-H hydrogen bonds and bidentate conformations with triflate and iodide anions, yet the steric bulk of the central functional group seems to impact the expected trends in halogen bond distance. In solution, anion titration data indicated elevated performance from the receptors that utilize C-H Hydrogen Bond enhanced Halogen Bonds (HBeXBs). Collectively, the results suggest that even modest hydrogen bonds between C-H donors and iodine acceptors can influence molecular structure and improve receptor performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11156-11162
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Science
Issue number37
StatePublished - Aug 31 2022


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