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Deuterium Isotope Effects on Hydrophobic Interactions:  The Importance of Dispersion Interactions in the Hydrophobic Phase

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journal contribution
posted on 17.10.2003, 00:00 by Maciej Turowski, Naoki Yamakawa, Jaroslaw Meller, Kazuhiro Kimata, Tohru Ikegami, Ken Hosoya, Nobuo Tanaka, Edward R. Thornton
Hydrogen/deuterium isotope effects on hydrophobic binding were examined by means of reversed-phase chromatographic separation of protiated and deuterated isotopologue pairs for a set of 10 nonpolar and low-polarity compounds with 10 stationary phases having alkyl and aryl groups bonded to the silica surface. It was found that protiated compounds bind to nonpolar moieties attached to silica more strongly than deuterated ones, demonstrating that the CH/CD bonds of the solutes are weakened or have less restricted motions when bound in the stationary phase compared with the aqueous solvent (mobile phase). The interactions responsible for binding have been further characterized by studies of the effects of changes in mobile phase composition, temperature dependence of binding, and QSRR (quantitative structure−chromatographic retention relationship) analysis, demonstrating the importance of enthalpic effects in binding and differentiation between the isotopologues. To explain our results showing the active role of the hydrophobic (stationary) phase we propose a plausible model that includes specific contributions from aromatic edge-to-face attractive interactions and attractive interactions of aliphatic groups with the π clouds of aromatic groups present as the solute or in the stationary phase.