Onset of three-centre, four-electron bonding in peri-substituted acenaphthenes: A structural and computational investigation

Lara K. Aschenbach, Fergus R. Knight, Rebecca A. M. Randall, David B. Cordes, Alex Baggott, Michael Buehl, Alexandra M. Z. Slawin, J. Derek Woollins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two series of sterically crowded peri-substituted acenaphthenes have been prepared, containing mixed halogen-chalcogen functionalities at the 5,6-positions in A1-A6 (Acenap[X][EPh] (Acenap = acenaphthene-5,6-diyl; X = Br, I; E = S, Se, Te) and chalcogen-chalcogen moieties in A7-A12 (Acenap [EPh][E'Ph] (Acenap = acenaphthene-5,6-diyl; E/E' = S, Se, Te). The related dihalide compounds A13-A16 Acenap[XX'] (XX' = BrBr, II, IBr, ClCl) have also been prepared. Distortion of the acenaphthene framework away from the ideal was studied as a function of the steric bulk of the interacting halogen and chalcogen atoms occupying the peri-positions. The acenaphthene series experiences a general increase in peri-separation for molecules accommodating heavier congeners and maps the trends observed previously for the analogous naphthalene compounds N1-N12 (Nap[X][EPh], Nap[EPh][E'Ph] (X = Br, I; E/E' = S, Se, Te). The conformation of the aromatic ring systems and subsequent location of p-type lone-pairs dominates the geometry of the peri-region. The differences in peri-separations observed for compounds adopting differing conformations of the peri-substituted phenyl group can be correlated to the ability of the frontier orbitals of the halogen or chalcogen atoms to take part in attractive or repulsive interactions. Density-functional studies have confirmed these interactions and suggested the onset of formation of three-centre, four-electron bonding under appropriate geometric conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3141-3153
Number of pages13
JournalDalton Transactions
Volume41
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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