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Design Considerations for the Group 15 Elements: The Pnictogen···π Interaction As a Complementary Component in Supramolecular Assembly Design

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posted on 04.08.2010 by Virginia M. Cangelosi, Melanie A. Pitt, W. Jake Vickaryous, Corinne A. Allen, Lev N. Zakharov, Darren W. Johnson
An exhaustive structural survey was analyzed in combination with new structural reports on pnictogen···π interactions. The Cambridge Structural Database was searched for examples of pnictogen atoms (As, Sb, and Bi) that lie within the sum of their van der Waals radii with an arene ring. The results were analyzed, and it was concluded that the interaction distance is shorter for the heavier pnictogens due to the increasingly diffuse nature of the lone pair of electrons on the atom. A weak correlation between the distance and the angle of the interaction was found, implying that the interaction is partially covalent in nature but is primarily a dispersion interaction. These arene···π interactions can be used as driving forces for supramolecular assembly, and the crystal structures of two new arsenic-containing assemblies are presented. The combined analysis of these structures and the structural survey suggest that our supramolecular design strategy can be fine-tuned to take advantage of the pnictogen···π interaction.