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Markham GD , Bock CL , Trachtman M , Bock CW
Intramolecular nonbonded interactions between oxygen and group VIA elements: An ab initio molecular orbital and density functional theory investigation of the structures of HX-CH2- COOH (X = S, Se, and Te)
Structural Chemistry. 1999 Aug;10(4) :263-276
PMID: ISI:000082397000001   
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Ab initio molecular orbital and density functional methods have been used to study the potential energy surfaces of the substituted acetic acids HX-CH2-COOH, where X is one of the Group VIA Chalcophiles S, Se, or Te. The various conformers adopted by these compounds provide information regarding the energetic importance of nonbonded X ... O and X-H ... O hydrogen bonding interactions involving oxygen atoms with different hybridizations. Density functional and ab initio molecular orbital methods yield similar structural and energetic trends for these compounds. Calculations show that the structure of the lowest-energy conformer of each of these acids has the X-C-C-O backbone substantially twisted from planarity, similar to that previously observed for the corresponding aldehydes, HX-CH2-CHO. In the twisted acid structures the shortest X ... O distance is within about 0.1 Angstrom of the sum of the X and O van der Waals radii, which reduces overcrowding of the lone pairs of electrons on these atoms. In conformers where the heavy atom backbone is planar, one of the X O distances is significantly shorter than the sum of the van der Waals radii, and the total molecular energy of these conformers is higher than that of the twisted forms. The variation of X-H vibrational frequencies among conformers reflects the extent of X-H ... O hydrogen bonding, and indicates that formation of this hydrogen bond is not the dominant factor in determining the lowest-energy conformation. When X is oxygen (HO-CH2-COOH), the lowest-energy conformer is also nonplanar, whereas for the corresponding aldehyde, HO-CH2- CHO, the lowest-energy conformer is a planar structure with Cs symmetry. The conformational preferences of these simple species provide reference points for inter- and intramolecular interactions in more complex systems of biological interest.
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