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Theoretical description of R–X· · · NH3 halogen bond complexes: Effect of the R group on the complex stability and sigma-hole electron depletion Artículo académico uri icon


  • In the present work, a number of R–X· · · NH3 (X = Cl, Br, and I) halogen bonded systems were theoretical studied by means of DFT calculations performed at the ωB97XD/6-31+G(d,p) level of theory in order to get insights on the effect of the electron-donating or electron-withdrawing character of the different R substituent groups (R = halogen, methyl, partially fluorinated methyl, perfluoro-methyl, ethyl, vinyl, and acetyl) on the stability of the halogen bond. The results indicate that the relative stability of the halogen bond follows the Cl andlt; Br andlt; I trend considering the same R substituent whereas the more electron-withdrawing character of the R substituent the more stable the halogen bond. Refinement of the latter results, performed at the MP2/6-31+G(d,p) level showed that the DFT and the MP2 binding energies correlate remarkably well, suggesting that the Grimme’s type dispersion-corrected functional produces reasonable structural and energetic features of halogen bond systems. DFT results were also observed to agree with more refined calculations performed at the CCSD(T) level. In a further stage, a more thorough analysis of the R–Br· · · NH3 complexes was performed by means of a novel electron localization/delocalization tool, defined in terms of an Information Theory, IT, based quantity obtained from the conditional pair density. For the latter, our in-house developed C++/CUDA program, called KLD (acronym of Kullback–Leibler divergence), was employed. KLD results mapped onto the one-electron density plotted at a 0.04 a.u. isovalue, showed that (i) as expected, the localized electron depletion of the Br sigma-hole is largely affected by the electron-withdrawing character of the R substituent group and (ii) the R–X bond is significantly polarized due to the presence of the NH3 molecule in the complexes. The afore-mentioned constitutes a clear indication of the dominant character of electrostatics on the stabilization of halogen bonds in agreement with a number of studies reported in the main literature. Finally, the cooperative effects on the [Br—CN]n system (n = 1–8) was evaluated at the MP2/6-31+G(d,p) level, where it was observed that an increase of about ~14.2% on the complex stability is obtained when going from n = 2 to n = 8. The latter results were corroborated by the analysis of the changes on the Fermi-hole localization pattern on the halogen bond zones, which suggests an also important contribution of the electron correlation in the stabilization of these systems.

fecha de publicación

  • 2020-1-25