The Bond Slam – a second peek inside.

August 12th, 2017
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At the moment, the bond slam is something of a home from home for this blog and since much of my activity is happening there rather than here, I thought I might give you pointers to some of the topics, which are evolving, so to speak, before our very eyes.

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Chemical Bonds at the 21st Century – 2017: the Bond Slam.

August 2nd, 2017
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It is always interesting to observe conference experiments taking place. The traditional model involves travelling to a remote venue, staying in a hotel, selecting sessions to attend from a palette of parallel streams and then interweaving chatting to colleagues both old and new over coffee, lunch, dinner or excursions. Sometimes conferences occur in clusters, with satellite meetings breaking out in the vicinity, after a main conference has done the job of attracting delegates to the region. Here I bring to your attention one such experiment, the Bond Slam which is part of a satellite meeting in Aachen to be held September 2-4 2017 on the topic of Chemical Bonds at the 21st Century, following on from the WATOC 2017 congress in Munich Germany a few days earlier.

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Wild flowers in West London.

July 24th, 2017
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Bees are having a tough time around the world. Oddly, they are surviving very well in cities. One reason are the wild flower meadows in London and for some summer relief I thought I would tell you the story of the one shown below.

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Accessing (raw) chemical data: a peek into the CIF format.

July 21st, 2017
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There is much focus at the moment on how to ensure experimental replicability in e.g. the molecular sciences. An important aspect of that is having access to FAIR data; data which is findable, accessible, inter-operable and re-usable. One of the “gold standards” in chemistry is the data associated with crystal structures. Here I take an inside peek into the standard file-type for carrying crystal structure data, the CIF file (the Crystallographic Information File).

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Dispersion “bonds” not involving just hydrogen: can it work for F…H?

July 18th, 2017
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The effects of loading up lots of dispersion attractions (between t-butyl groups) into a compact molecule has the interesting consequence of allowing two “non-bonded” hydrogen atoms to approach to ~1.5Å of each other, thus creating the appearance of a “bond” where one normally would not be found. Can such an effect be injected into other combinations of two atoms, say H and F? Here I briefly explore this notion.

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Dispersion “bonds” not involving hydrogen. A Cl…Cl candidate?

June 29th, 2017
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In the previous post, I noted the crystallographic detection of an unusually short non-bonded H…H contact of ~1.5Å, some 0.9Å shorter than twice the van der Waals radius of hydrogen (1.2Å, although some sources quote 1.1Å which would make the contraction ~0.7Å). This was attributed to dispersion attractions accumulating in the rest of the molecule. I asked myself what the potential might be for other elements to reveal significantly contracted non-bonded distances as a result of dispersive attractions.

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Dispersion “bonds”: a new example with an ultra-short H…H distance.

June 26th, 2017
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About 18 months ago, there was much discussion on this blog about a system reported by Bob Pascal and co-workers containing a short H…H contact of ~1.5Å[1]. In this system, the hydrogens were both attached to Si as Si-H…H-Si and compressed together by rings. Now a new report[2] and commented upon by Steve Bachrach, claims a similar distance for hydrogens attached to carbon, i.e. C-H…H-C, but without the ring compression.

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References

  1. J. Zong, J.T. Mague, and R.A. Pascal, "Exceptional Steric Congestion in anin,in-Bis(hydrosilane)", Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 135, pp. 13235-13237, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja407398w
  2. S. Rösel, H. Quanz, C. Logemann, J. Becker, E. Mossou, L. Cañadillas-Delgado, E. Caldeweyher, S. Grimme, and P.R. Schreiner, "London Dispersion Enables the Shortest Intermolecular Hydrocarbon H···H Contact", Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 139, pp. 7428-7431, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.7b01879

Chemistry rich diagrams: do crystal structures carry spin information? Iron-di-imine complexes.

June 18th, 2017
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The iron complex shown below forms the basis for many catalysts.[1] With iron, the catalytic behaviour very much depends on the spin-state of the molecule, which for the below can be either high (hextet) or medium (quartet) spin, with a possibility also of a low spin (doublet) state. Here I explore whether structural information in crystal structures can reflect such spin states.

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References

  1. M.P. Shaver, L.E.N. Allan, H.S. Rzepa, and V.C. Gibson, "Correlation of Metal Spin State with Catalytic Reactivity: Polymerizations Mediated by α-Diimine–Iron Complexes", Angewandte Chemie International Edition, vol. 45, pp. 1241-1244, 2006. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.200502985

Twenty one years of chemistry-related Java apps: RIP Java?

June 10th, 2017
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In an earlier post, I lamented the modern difficulties in running old instances of Jmol, an example of an application program written in the Java programming language. When I wrote that, I had quite forgotten a treasure trove of links to old Java that I had collected in 1996-7 and then abandoned. Here I browse through a few of the things I found.

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How to search data repositories for FAIR chemical content and data: SubjectScheme

June 8th, 2017
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As data repositories start to flourish, it is reasonable to ask questions such as what sort of chemistry can be found there and how can I find it? Here I give an updated[1] worked example of a digital repository search for chemical content and also pose an important issue for the chemistry domain.

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References

  1. H.S. Rzepa, A. Mclean, and M.J. Harvey, "InChI As a Research Data Management Tool", Chemistry International, vol. 38, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/ci-2016-3-408