Are beryllium-containing biphenyl derivatives efficient anion sponges?

  • Oriana Brea
  • Otilia Mó
  • Manuel YáñezEmail author
  • M. Merced Montero-Campillo
  • Ibon Alkorta
  • José Elguero
Original Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. P. Politzer 80th Birthday Festschrift


The structures and stabilities of 2,2′-diBeX-1,1′-biphenyl (X = H, F, Cl, CN) derivatives and their affinities for F, Cl, and CN were theoretically investigated using a B3LYP/6–311 + G(3df,2p)//B3LYP/6–31 + G(d,p) model. The results obtained show that the 2,2′-diBeX-1,1′-biphenyl derivatives (X = H, F, Cl, CN) exhibit very high F, Cl, and CN affinities, albeit lower than those reported before for their 1,8-diBeX-naphthalene analogs, in spite of the fact that the biphenyl derivatives are more flexible than their naphthalene counterparts. Nevertheless, some of the biphenyl derivatives investigated are predicted to have anion affinities larger than those measured for SbF5, which is considered one of the strongest anion capturers. Therefore, although weaker than their naphthalene analogs, the 2,2′-diBeX-1,1′-biphenyl derivatives can still be considered powerful anion sponges. This study supports the idea that compounds containing –BeX groups in chelating positions behave as anion sponges due to the electron-deficient nature and consequently high intrinsic Lewis acidity of these groups.

Graphical Abstract

Compounds containing –BeX groups in chelating positions, such as 2,2′-diBeX-1,1′-biphenyl (X = H, F, Cl, CN) derivatives, behave as anion sponges due to the electron-deficient nature of these groups


Anion sponges Be-containing biphenyl derivatives Density functional theory 



This work was supported by the projects CTQ2015-63997-C2 and CTQ2013-43698-P of the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain, by the project FOTOCARBON-CM S2013/MIT-2841 of the Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid, and by the COST Action CM1204. Computational time at the Centro de Computación Científica (CCC) of Universidad Autónoma de Madrid is also gratefully acknowledged.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stockholm University, Department of Organic Chemistry, Arrhenius LaboratoryStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Departamento de Química, Facultad de Ciencias, Módulo 13, and Institute of Advanced Chemical Sciences (IadChem)Universidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Instituto de Química Médica, CSICMadridSpain

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