Can. J. Chem., 67, 2227-2236 (1989)


A molecular study of the conformation (inversion and rotation barriers) and electronic properties of sulphamide

Abinitio calculations have been used to study the conformational potential surface of sulfamide, by considering the S—N bond rotations and the nitrogen inversion processes. The lowest energy conformation (b) is found for a cis–trans arrangement of the amino groups, although conformations with cis–cis (a), trans–trans (c), and near staggered (c′) arrangements lie close in energy. Nitrogen inversion barriers are very low, and consequently one may expect forms b andc′ to be the only ones present in the gas phase. Conformer a is very polar, its dipole moment being twice that of b, so it may be favored in condensed media or in polar-solvent solutions. The relative stability of the different isomers is governed by interactions between the amino protons and between the nitrogen lone pairs. Our results show that d–π backbonding, involving the dorbitals on sulfur, is responsible for the multiple bond character of the S—O linkage, but is very small in the S—N interactions. The role of the sulfur d-orbital exponent, when a 6-31G* basis is used, is analyzed on a series of model compounds containing SII, SIV, and SVI. Although the inclusion of d functions on sulfur is crucial to describing correctly the bonding in sulfamide, the results obtained do not change appreciably if a second set of d functions is centered on sulfur. Nevertheless, only when polarization functions are also included for first-row atoms is the description of the system reliable. Keywords: sulfamide, inversion and rotational barriers, sulfurd-functions.