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  1. [PdCl4]2− dianions are oriented within a crystal in such a way that a Cl of one unit approaches the Pd of another from directly above. Quantum calculations find this interaction to be highly repulsive with a large positive interaction energy. The placement of neutral ligands in their vicinity reduces the repulsion, but the interaction remains highly endothermic. When the ligands acquire a unit positive charge, the electrostatic component and the full interaction energy become quite negative, signalling an exothermic association. Raising the charge on these counterions to +2 has little further stabilizing effect, and in fact reduces the electrostatic attraction. The ability of the counterions to promote the interaction is attributed in part to the H-bonds which they form with both dianions, acting as a sort of glue.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Inspection of the arrangement of tetrachloridopalladate( ii ) centers in a crystalline solid places the Cl of one [PdCl 4 ] 2− directly above the Pd center of its neighbor. A survey of the CSD provides 22 more examples of such MX 4 2− ⋯MX 4 2− complexes, with M being a Group 10 metal and X = Cl, Br, or I. Quantum calculations attribute this arrangement to a π-hole bond wherein Cl lone pairs of one unit transfer charge to vacant orbitals above the Pd center of its neighbor. The stabilizing effect of this bond must overcome the strong Coulombic repulsion between the two dianions, which is facilitated by a polarizable environment as would be present in a crystal, but much more so when the effects of the neighboring counterions are factored in. These conclusions are extended to other [MX 4 ] 2− homodimers, where M represents other members of Group 10, namely Ni and Pt.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 9, 2022
  3. The ability of two anions to interact with one another is tested in the context of pairs of TrX 4 − homodimers, where Tr represents any of the triel atoms B, Al, Ga, In, or Tl, and X refers to a halogen substituent F, Cl, or Br. None of these pairs engage in a stable complex in the gas phase, but the situation reverses in water where the two monomers are held together by Tr⋯X triel bonds, complemented by stabilizing interactions between X atoms. Some of these bonds are quite strong, notably those involving TrF 4 − , with interaction energies surpassing 30 kcal mol −1 . Others are very much weaker, with scarcely exothermic binding energies. The highly repulsive electrostatic interactions are counteracted by large polarization energies.
  4. Molecules of the type XYT = Ch (T = C, Si, Ge; Ch = S, Se; X,Y = H, CH3, Cl, Br, I) contain a σ-hole along the T = Ch bond extension. This hole can engage with the N lone pair of NCH and NCCH3 so as to form a chalcogen bond. In the case of T = C, these bonds are rather weak, less than 3 kcal/mol, and are slightly weakened in acetone or water. They owe their stability to attractive electrostatic energy, supplemented by dispersion, and a much smaller polarization term. Immersion in solvent reverses the electrostatic interaction to repulsive, while amplifying the polarization energy. The σ-holes are smaller for T = Si and Ge, even negative in many cases. These Lewis acids can nonetheless engage in a weak chalcogen bond. This bond owes its stability to dispersion in the gas phase, but it is polarization that dominates in solution.
  5. The possibility that MX 3 − anions can interact with one another is assessed via ab initio calculations in gas phase as well as in aqueous and ethanol solution. A pair of such anions can engage in two different dimer types. In the bridged configuration, two X atoms engage with two M atoms in a rhomboid structure with four equal M–X bond lengths. The two monomers retain their identity in the stacked geometry which contains a pair of noncovalent M⋯X interactions. The relative stabilities of these two structures depend on the nature of the central M atom, the halogen substituent, and the presence of solvent. The interaction and binding energies are fairly small, generally no more than 10 kcal mol −1 . The large electrostatic repulsion is balanced by a strong attractive polarization energy.
  6. Ab initio calculations are applied to the question as to whether a AeX5− anion (Ae = Kr, Xe) can engage in a stable complex with another anion: F−, Cl−, or CN−. The latter approaches the central Ae atom from above the molecular plane, along its C5 axis. While the electrostatic repulsion between the two anions prevents their association in the gas phase, immersion of the system in a polar medium allows dimerization to proceed. The aerogen bond is a weak one, with binding energies less than 2 kcal/mol, even in highly polar aqueous solvent. The complexes are metastable in the less polar solvents THF and DMF, with dissociation opposed by a small energy barrier.
  7. Over the last years, scientific interest in noncovalent interactions based on the presence of electron-depleted regions called σ-holes or π-holes has markedly accelerated. Their high directionality and strength, comparable to hydrogen bonds, has been documented in many fields of modern chemistry. The current review gathers and digests recent results concerning these bonds, with a focus on those systems where both σ and π-holes are present on the same molecule. The underlying principles guiding the bonding in both sorts of interactions are discussed, and the trends that emerge from recent work offer a guide as to how one might design systems that allow multiple noncovalent bonds to occur simultaneously, or that prefer one bond type over another.
  8. The ability of a TrCl 4 − anion (Tr = Al, Ga, In, Tl) to engage in a triel bond with both a neutral NH 3 and CN − anion is assessed by ab initio quantum calculations in both the gas phase and in aqueous medium. Despite the absence of a positive σ or π-hole on the Lewis acid, strong triel bonds can be formed with either base. The complexation involves an internal restructuring of the tetrahedral TrCl 4 − monomer into a trigonal bipyramid shape, where the base can occupy either an axial or equatorial position. Although this rearrangement requires a substantial investment of energy, it aids the complexation by imparting a much more positive MEP to the site that is to be occupied by the base. Complexation with the neutral base is exothermic in the gas phase and even more so in water where interaction energies can exceed 30 kcal mol −1 . Despite the long-range coulombic repulsion between any pair of anions, CN − can also engage in a strong triel bond with TrCl 4 − . In the gas phase, complexation is endothermic, but dissociation of the metastable dimer is obstructed by an energy barrier. Themore »situation is entirely different in solution, with large negative interaction energies of as much as −50 kcal mol −1 . The complexation remains an exothermic process even after the large monomer deformation energy is factored in.« less