J. Chem. Theor. Comput. 8, 2293-2300 (2012)

DOI: 10.1021/ct300243b

Modulating the Strength of Hydrogen Bonds through Beryllium Bonds

The mutual influence between beryllium bonds and inter- or intramolecular hydrogen bonds (HBs) has been investigated at the B3LYP/6-311++G(3df,2p) level of theory, using the complexes between imidazole dimer and malonaldehyde with BeH2 and BeF2 as suitable model systems. Imidazole and its dimer form very strong beryllium bonds with both BeH2 and BeF2, accompanied by a significant geometry distortion of the Lewis acid. More importantly, we have found a clear cooperativity between these two noncovalent interactions, since the intermolecular HB between the two imidazole molecules in the dimer–BeX2 complex becomes much stronger than in the isolated dimer, whereas the beryllium bond becomes also stronger in the dimer–BeX2 complex, with respect to that found in the imidazole–BeX2 complex. The effects of beryllium bonds are also dramatic on the strength of intramolecular HBs. Depending on to which center the BeX2 is attached, the intramolecular HB becomes much stronger or much weaker. The first situation is found when the beryllium derivative is attached to the HB donor, whereas the second occurs if it is attached to the HB acceptor. The first effect can be so strong as to produce a spontaneous proton transfer, as it is actually the case of the malonaldehyde–BeF2 complex.