Lane, J. R., & Saunders, G. C. (2020). Theoretical study of the structures of 4-(2,3,5,6-tetrafluoropyridyl)diphenylphosphine oxide and tris(pentafluorophenyl)phosphine oxide: Why does the crystal structure of (tetrafluoropyridyl)diphenylphosphine oxide have two different P=O bond lengths? Molecules, 25(12), 2778. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122778
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13821
The crystal structure of 4-(2,3,5,6-tetrafluoropyridyl)diphenylphosphine oxide (1) contains two independent molecules in the asymmetric unit. Although the molecules are virtually identical in all other aspects, the P=O bond distances differ by ca. 0.02 Å. In contrast, although tris(pentafluorophenyl)phosphine oxide (2) has a similar crystal structure, the P=O bond distances of the two independent molecules are identical. To investigate the reason for the difference, a density functional theory study was undertaken. Both structures comprise chains of molecules. The attraction between molecules of 1, which comprises lone pair–π, weak hydrogen bonding and C–H···arene interactions, has energies of 70 and 71 kJ mol⁻¹. The attraction between molecules of 2 comprises two lone pair–π interactions, and has energies of 99 and 100 kJ mol−1. There is weak hydrogen bonding between molecules of adjacent chains involving the oxygen atom of 1. For one molecule, this interaction is with a symmetry independent molecule, whereas for the other, it also occurs with a symmetry related molecule. This provides a reason for the difference in P=O distance. This interaction is not possible for 2, and so there is no difference between the P=O distances of 2.
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).