On the Properties of X∙∙∙N Noncovalent Interactions for First-, Second- and Third-Row X Atoms

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J. Chem. Phys.

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In addition to a structure with a PH···N H-bond, a second complex of greater stability is formed when the PH(3) is rotated such that its P-H bond is pointing away from the approaching N lone pair of NH(3). Quantum calculations are applied to examine whether such a complex is characteristic only of P, or may occur as well for other atoms of the first, second, or third rows of the periodic table. The molecules PH(3), H(2)S, HCl, AsH(3), and NH(3) are all paired with NH(3) as electron donor. While NH(3) will not engage in an N···N attraction, all the others do form a X···N complex. The energetics, geometries, and other properties of these complexes are relatively insensitive to the nature of the X atom. This uniformity contrasts sharply with the H-bonded XH···N complexes where a strong sensitivity to X is observed. The three-dimensional nature of the electrostatic potential, in conjunction with the striving for a linear H-X···N orientation that maximizes charge transfer, serves as an excellent tool in understanding both the shape of the potential energy surface and the proclivity to engage in a X···N interaction.

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