Halogen Bonding II

Volume 359 of the series Topics in Current Chemistry pp 49-76


Halogen Bonding in Solution

  • Anna-Carin C. CarlssonAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, Gothenburg University
  • , Alberte X. VeigaAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, Gothenburg University
  • , Máté ErdélyiAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, Gothenburg University Email author 

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Because of its expected applicability for modulation of molecular recognition phenomena in chemistry and biology, halogen bonding has lately attracted rapidly increasing interest. As most of these processes proceed in solution, the understanding of the influence of solvents on the interaction is of utmost importance. In addition, solution studies provide fundamental insights into the nature of halogen bonding, including, for example, the relative importance of charge transfer, dispersion, and electrostatics forces. Herein, a selection of halogen bonding literature is reviewed with the discussion focusing on the solvent effect and the electronic characteristics of halogen bonded complexes. Hence, charged and neutral systems together with two- and three-center bonds are presented in separate sub-sections. Solvent polarity is shown to have a slight stabilizing effect on neutral, two-center halogen bonds while strongly destabilizes charged, two-center complexes. It does not greatly influence the geometry of three-center halogen bonds, even though polar solvents facilitate dissociation of the counter-ion of charged three-center bonds. The charged three-center bonds are strengthened by increased environment polarity. Solvents possessing hydrogen bond donor functionalities efficiently destabilize all types of halogen bonds, primarily because of halogen vs hydrogen bond competition. A purely electrostatic model is insufficient for the description of halogen bonds in polar systems whereas it may give reasonable correlation to experimental data obtained in noninteracting, apolar solvents. Whereas dispersion plays a significant role for neutral, two-center halogen bonds, charged halogen bond complexes possess a significant charge transfer characteristic.


Halogen bond Solution Solvation Solvent effect