American Chemical Society
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Tetrel and Pnictogen Bonds Complement Hydrogen and Halogen Bonds in Framing the Interactional Landscape of Barbituric Acids

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Version 2 2020-12-17, 20:14
Version 1 2020-12-16, 15:05
journal contribution
posted on 2020-12-17, 20:14 authored by Vijith Kumar, Patrick Scilabra, Peter Politzer, Giancarlo Terraneo, Andrea Daolio, Francisco Fernandez-Palacio, Jane S. Murray, Giuseppe Resnati
Experimental and theoretical studies of fluoro-, chloro-, and bromo-substituted derivatives of barbituric acid and indandione show that imide protons form short hydrogen bonds and bromine or, to a lesser extent, chlorine atoms form halogen bonds. The imide nitrogen atoms act as effective pnictogen bond donors, while C­(sp2) and C­(sp3) atoms act as tetrel bond donors; the resulting N···O and C···O close interactions are a distinctive feature of crystal lattices in all compounds. Importantly, halogen atoms promote the electrophilicity of C­(sp3) sites and favor the formation of C­(sp3)···O close contacts. Oxygen atoms of carbonyl groups of barbituric and indandione units or of water molecules function as the interaction acceptor sites: namely, they donate electron density to hydrogen, halogen, nitrogen, and carbon atoms. Modeling of various barbituric acid derivatives indicates that the positive electrostatic potentials of π-holes orthogonal to the C­(sp2) carbons and σ-holes on the elongation of quasi-axial F/Cl/Br–C­(sp3) bonds merge to produce a single well-defined point of the most positive electrostatic potential on one face of the barbituric acids. This single local maximum of the potential on the molecular face is close to the site occupied by the oxygen forming the C­(sp3)···O, and C­(sp2)···O, short contacts observed in crystals.