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Structural Versatility of Oxalamide-Based Compounds:  A Computational Study on the Isomerization of the Oxalamide Group and the Structural Preferences of the Polyoxalamides

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journal contribution
posted on 26.11.2001, 00:00 by Elaine Armelin, Carlos Alemán, J. Puiggalí
The conformational properties of the oxalamide group and crystal structure of several polyoxalamides have been investigated by computational methods. First, a detailed quantum mechanical study of the conformational preferences of N,N-dimethyloxalamide is reported. Results, which were obtained at the MP2/6-31G(d) level, provide not only the minimum energy conformations but also a description of the energetics and structural changes associated to the isomerization process of the oxalamide group. These quantum mechanical results together with those obtained from additional calculations have been used to develop a set of force-field parameters for the oxalamide group. Molecular mechanics calculations have been performed to test the parameters and to provide new information in terms of energy contributions about the isomerization of the oxalamide group. On the other hand, the new set of parameters has been used to investigate the structural preferences of polyoxalamides (-[NH-CO-CO-NH-(CH2)n]-) by PCSP calculations. Results indicated that polyoxalamides with an even number of methylene groups adopt a structure with one hydrogen bonding direction, whereas polymers with an odd number of methylene groups prefer a structure with two hydrogen bonding directions. The latter crystal structure is completely different from that observed in conventional polyamides and has been investigated in detail through Monte Carlo simulations.