Effects of Multiple Substitution upon the P∙∙∙N Noncovalent Interaction
The attractive noncovalent interaction of a P atom with N is derived primarily from two sources. Charge transfer from the N lone pair into the σ∗ antibonding orbital of a P–X bond that is turned away from the N atom combines with attractive Coulombic forces. As in the case of H-bonding, which is parallel in some ways to P⋯N attraction, placement of an electron-withdrawing substituent on the P atom enhances both of these components, and strengthens the overall interaction. However, in stark contrast with H-bonding, halogenation beyond monosubstitution does not lead to any further strengthening of the P⋯N noncovalent bond. Indeed, di and tri-substitution lead to small reductions in the interaction energy. In all cases, the geometry which contains a P⋯N bond is more stable than other candidate structures, some of which contain hydrogen or halogen bonds.
Effects of Multiple Substitution upon the P∙∙∙N Noncovalent Interaction S. Scheiner Chem. Phys. 2011 387 79-84