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Heterodimers are constructed containing imidazolium and its halogen-substituted derivatives as Lewis acid. N in its sp3, sp2 and sp hybridizations is taken as the electron-donating base. The halogen bond is strengthened in the Cl < Br < I order, with the H-bond generally similar in magnitude to the Br-bond. Methyl substitution on the N electron donor enhances the binding energy. Very little perturbation arises if the imidazolium is attached to a phenyl ring. The energetics are not sensitive to the hybridization of the N atom. More regular patterns appear in the individual phenomena. Charge transfer diminishes uniformly on going from amine to imine to nitrile, a pattern that is echoed by the elongation of the C-Z (Z=H, Cl, Br, I) bond in the Lewis acid. These trends are also evident in the Atoms in Molecules topography of the electron density. Molecular electrostatic potentials are not entirely consistent with energetics. Although I of the Lewis acid engages in a stronger bond than does H, it is the potential of the latter which is much more positive. The minimum on the potential of the base is most negative for the nitrile even though acetonitrile does not form the strongest bonds. Placing the systems in dichloromethane solvent reduces the binding energies but leaves intact most of the trends observed in vacuo; the same can be said of ∆G in solution.
Scheiner, S. Halogen Bonds Formed between Substituted Imidazoliums and N Bases of Varying N-Hybridization. Molecules 2017, 22, 1634.