J. Org. Chem., 2014, 79, 6959–6969.

DOI: 10.1021/jo501061z

Open Bis(triazolium) Structural Motifs as a Benchmark To Study Combined Hydrogen- and Halogen-Bonding Interactions in Oxoanion Recognition Processes

We have designed a series of triazolium-pyrene-based dyads to probe their potential as fluorescent chemosensors for anion recognition through combinations of hydrogen and halogen bonding. Cooperation between the two distinct noncovalent interactions leads to an unusual effect on receptor affinity, as a result of fundamental differences in the interactions of halogen and hydrogen bond donor groups with anions. Absorption, emission spectrophotometries and proton and phosphorus NMR spectroscopies indicate that the two interactions act in concert to achieve the selective binding of the hydrogen pyrophosphate anion, a conclusion supported by computational studies. Hence, as clearly demonstrated with respective halogen- and hydrogen-bonding triazolium receptors, the integration of a halogen atom into the anion receptor at the expense of one hydrogen-bonding receptor greatly influences the anion recognition affinity of the receptor. The association constant values of the halogen-bonding complexes are larger than the hydrogen-bonding counterpart. Thus, halogen bonding has been exploited for the selective fluorescent sensing of hydrogen pyrophosphate anion. Halogen bonding has been demonstrated to increase the strength of hydrogen pyrophosphate binding, as compared to the hydrogen-bonded analogue. Grimme’s PBE-D functional, which adequately reproduces the pyrene stacking energies, has been successfully applied to model the affinity for anions, especially hydrogen pyrophosphate, of the new receptors.