Halogen bonding between halide sites (in substituted organic molecules or inorganic halides) and Lewis bases is a rapidly progressing area of exploration. Investigations of this phenomenon have improved our understanding of weak intermolecular interactions and suggested new possibilities in supramolecular chemistry and crystal engineering. The capacity for halogen bonding is investigated at the MP2(full) level of theory for 100 compounds, including all 80 MH4-nXn systems (M = C, Si, Ge, Sn, and Pb; X = F, Cl, Br, and I). The charge redistribution in these molecules and the (in)stability of the σ-hole at X as a function of M and n are catalogued and examined. For the mixed MH3-mFmI compounds, we identify a complicated dependence of the relative halogen bond strengths on M and m. For m = 0, for example, the H3C-I----NH3 halogen bond is 6.6 times stronger than the H3Pb-I----NH3 bond. When m = 3, however, the F3Pb-I----NH3 bond is shorter and ∼1.6 times stronger than the F3C-I----NH3 bond. This substituent-induced reversal in the relative strengths of halogen bond energies is explained.

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Copyright © 2010 American Chemical Society. This article first appeared in Journal of Physical Chemistry 114:26 (2010), 7213-7222.

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