Proving and Probing the Presence of the Elusive C−H⋅⋅⋅O Hydrogen Bond in Liquid Solutions at Room Temperature

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© 2020 Wiley-VCH GmbH Hydrogen bonds (H bonds) play a major role in defining the structure and properties of many substances, as well as phenomena and processes. Traditional H bonds are ubiquitous in nature, yet the demonstration of weak H bonds that occur between a highly polarized C−H group and an electron-rich oxygen atom, has proven elusive. Detailed here are linear and nonlinear IR spectroscopy experiments that reveal the presence of H bonds between the chloroform C−H group and an amide carbonyl oxygen atom in solution at room temperature. Evidence is provided for an amide solvation shell featuring two clearly distinguishable chloroform arrangements that undergo chemical exchange with a time scale of about 2 ps. Furthermore, the enthalpy of breaking the hydrogen bond is found to be 6–20 kJ mol−1. Ab-initio computations support the findings of two distinct solvation shells formed by three chloroform molecules, where one thermally undergoes hydrogen-bond making and breaking.

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Angewandte Chemie - International Edition

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