J. Phys. Chem. A, 117, 3133–3141 (2013)

DOI: 10.1021/jp401480y

Phosphorus As a Simultaneous Electron-Pair Acceptor in Intermolecular P···N Pnicogen Bonds and Electron-Pair Donor to Lewis Acids

Ab initio MP2/aug’-cc-pVTZ calculations have been performed to investigate the structures and energies of binary complexes LA:PH2F and LA:PH3 and of ternary complexes LA:H2FP:NFH2 and LA:H3P:NH3 in which the pnicogen-bonded P atom also acts as an electron-pair donor to a Lewis acid (LA), for LA = BH3, NCH, ClH, FH, FCl, and HLi. Hydrogen bonds, halogen bonds, and dative covalent bonds are found at P in some cases, depending on the nature of the Lewis acid. HLi forms a lithium bond with P only in the binary complex HLi:PH3. The binding energies of ternary complexes exhibit a classical synergistic effect, although the computed cooperativity may be overestimated due to neglect of the interaction of the Lewis acid with NH2F or NH3 in some cases. The hydrogen-bonding Lewis acids appear to have little effect on the strength of the P···N bond, while the remaining Lewis acids strengthen the pnicogen bond. 31P absolute chemical shieldings increase in LA:H2FP:NFH2complexes relative to the corresponding LA:PH2F complexes as the positive charge on P decreases, while chemical shieldings decrease in LA:H3P:NH3 relative to the corresponding LA:PH3 complexes as the positive charge increases. Absolute values of 1pJ(P–N) spin–spin coupling constants in complexes LA:H2FP:NFH2 decrease as the P–N distance decreases. It appears that this behavior is associated with the presence of a second intermolecular interaction, whether electron-donation by P or hydrogen bond formation at P–F.