Posts Tagged ‘10.1021’

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

Monday, June 26th, 2017

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.



  1. J. Zong, J.T. Mague, and R.A. Pascal, "Exceptional Steric Congestion in an in,in-Bis(hydrosilane)", Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 135, pp. 13235-13237, 2013.
  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.

The “hydrogen bond”; its early history.

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

My holiday reading has been Derek Lowe’s excellent Chemistry Book setting out 250 milestones in chemistry, organised by year. An entry for 1920 entitled hydrogen bonding seemed worth exploring in more detail here.


How does an OH or NH group approach an aromatic ring to hydrogen bond with its π-face?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

I previously used data mining of crystal structures to explore the directing influence of substituents on aromatic and heteroaromatic rings. Here I explore, quite literally, a different angle to the hydrogen bonding interactions between a benzene ring and OH or NH groups.


The solvation of ion pairs.

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Solvolytic mechanisms are amongst the oldest studied, but reproducing their characteristics using computational methods has been a challenging business. This post was inspired by reading Steve Bachrach’s post, itself alluding to this aspect in the title “Computationally handling ion pairs”. It references this recent article on the topic[1] in which the point is made that reproducing the features of both contact and solvent-separated ion pairs needs a model comprising discrete solvent molecules (in this case four dichloromethane units) along with a continuum model.



  1. T. Hosoya, T. Takano, P. Kosma, and T. Rosenau, "Theoretical Foundation for the Presence of Oxacarbenium Ions in Chemical Glycoside Synthesis", The Journal of Organic Chemistry, vol. 79, pp. 7889-7894, 2014.

How to predict the regioselectivity of epoxide ring opening.

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

I recently got an email from a student asking about the best way of rationalising epoxide ring opening using some form of molecule orbitals. This reminded me of the famous experiment involving propene epoxide.[1]



  1. H.C. Chitwood, and B.T. Freure, "The Reaction of Propylene Oxide with Alcohols", Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 68, pp. 680-683, 1946.

Secrets of a university tutor: (curly) arrow pushing

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Curly arrows are something most students of chemistry meet fairly early on. They rapidly become hard-wired into the chemists brain. They are also uncontroversial! Or are they? Consider the following very simple scheme.


Conformational analysis of biphenyls: an upside-down view

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

One of the (not a few) pleasures of working in a university is the occasional opportunity that arises to give a new lecture course to students. New is not quite the correct word, since the topic I have acquired is Conformational analysis. The original course at Imperial College was delivered by Derek Barton himself about 50 years ago (for articles written by him on the topic, see DOI 10.1126/science.169.3945.539 or the original 10.1039/QR9561000044), and so I have had an opportunity to see how the topic has evolved since then, and perhaps apply some quantitative quantum mechanical interpretations unavailable to Barton himself.