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Proton Probability Distribution in the O···H···O Low-Barrier Hydrogen Bond: A Combined Solid-State NMR and Quantum Chemical Computational Study of Dibenzoylmethane and Curcumin

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journal contribution
posted on 26.10.2016, 00:00 by Xianqi Kong, Andreas Brinkmann, Victor Terskikh, Roderick E. Wasylishen, Guy M. Bernard, Zhuang Duan, Qichao Wu, Gang Wu
We report a combined solid-state (1H, 2H, 13C, 17O) NMR and plane-wave density functional theory (DFT) computational study of the O···H···O low-barrier hydrogen bonds (LBHBs) in two 1,3-diketone compounds: dibenzoylmethane (1) and curcumin (2). In the solid state, both 1 and 2 exist in the cis-keto–enol tautomeric form, each exhibiting an intramolecular LBHB with a short O···O distance (2.435 Å in 1 and 2.455 Å in 2). Whereas numerous experimental (structural and spectroscopic) and computational studies have been reported for the enol isomers of 1,3-diketones, a unified picture about the proton location within an LBHB is still lacking. This work reports for the first time the solid-state 17O NMR data for the O···H···O LBHBs in 1,3-diketones. The central conclusion of this work is that detailed information about the probability density distribution of the proton (nuclear zero-point motion) across an LBHB can be obtained from a combination of solid-state NMR and plane-wave DFT computations (both NMR parameter calculations and ab initio molecular dynamics simulations). We propose that the precise proton probability distribution across an LBHB should provide a common basis on which different and sometimes seemingly contradicting experimental results obtained from complementary techniques, such as X-ray diffraction, neutron diffraction, and solid-state NMR, can be reconciled.