A golden future for hydrogen bonding

Written by Kirsty Muirhead for Chemistry World

Two-dimensional contour plot of [Me2Au]− adduct with HCN.

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry Two-dimensional contour plot of [Me2Au]− adduct with HCN. Red areas identify the stabilising interactions and blue destabilising interactions

Gold has surprised chemists by showing that a formally positively charged Au(I) ion can be a hydrogen bond acceptor.1 This discovery challenges the traditional view that hydrogen bond acceptors are negatively charged.

Catharine Esterhuysen and her colleagues at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, used theoretical calculations to study how dimethylaurate interacted with six hydrogen bond donors including HF, HCN and NH3.This study expands their previous work showing that Au(I) can be a hydrogen bond acceptor for water.2 Strong or moderate hydrogen bonds were found for five of the pairs. As expected, the Au(I)···H–X bonds were weaker than those formed with the negative auride ion, but surprisingly the bonds with HF and HCN were more stabilising than their analogues with [(CO)4Co], which contains a negatively charged Co centre.

Interested? The full article can be read in Chemistry World.

The original article can be read below and is free to access until 27th April 2017.

Gold setting the “gold standard” among transition metals as a hydrogen bond acceptor – a theoretical investigation
Ferdinand Groenewald, Helgard G. Raubenheimer, Jan Dillen and Catharine Esterhuysen*
Dalton Trans., 2017, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7DT00329C

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