Authors: Manuel Guevara-Vela, Jose; Gallegos, Miguel; Valentin-Rodriguez, Monica A.; Costales, Aurora; Rocha-Rinza, Tomas; Martin Pendas, Angel


Publication date: 2021/07/01

DOI: 10.3390/molecules26144196

Abstract: Resonance-assisted hydrogen bonds (RAHB) are intramolecular contacts that are characterised by being particularly energetic. This fact is often attributed to the delocalisation of pi electrons in the system. In the present article, we assess this thesis via the examination of the effect of electron-withdrawing and electron-donating groups, namely -F, -Cl, -Br, -CF3, -N(CH3)(2), -OCH3, -NHCOCH3 on the strength of the RAHB in malondialdehyde by using the Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules (QTAIM) and the Interacting Quantum Atoms (IQA) analyses. We show that the influence of the investigated substituents on the strength of the investigated RAHBs depends largely on its position within the pi skeleton. We also examine the relationship between the formation energy of the RAHB and the hydrogen bond interaction energy as defined by the IQA method of wave function analysis. We demonstrate that these substituents can have different effects on the formation and interaction energies, casting doubts regarding the use of different parameters as indicators of the RAHB formation energies. Finally, we also demonstrate how the energy density can offer an estimation of the IQA interaction energy, and therefore of the HB strength, at a reduced computational cost for these important interactions. We expected that the results reported herein will provide a valuable understanding in the assessment of the energetics of RAHB and other intramolecular interactions.