Rotational dynamics of diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane in isomorphous halogen-bonded co-crystals: Entropic and enthalpic effects

Luca Catalano, Salvador Perez-Estrada, Hsin Hua Wang, Anoklase J.L. Ayitou, Saeed I. Khan, Giancarlo Terraneo (Corresponding Author), Pierangelo Metrangolo, Stuart Browne, Miguel A. Garcia-Garibay (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    64 Citations (Scopus)


    Based on rotational dynamics measurements carried out with isomorphic co-crystals formed by halogenbonding (XB) between tritylacetylene halides (TrX) and diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane (dabco), we were able to distinguish the sources of the enthalpic and entropie components in the rotational free energy barrier. We describe the formation of the 1:1 co-crystals (TrX···N(R)3N) obtained from 1 equiv of dabco and 1 equiv of either Tri or TrBr, respectively, to give 4a and 4b instead of the potential 2:1 complexes. The co-crystals were prepared by solvent evaporation and mechanochemical synthesis. No co-crystal with TrCl was obtained, reflecting the weaker nature of the TrCl···NR3 interaction. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction confirmed structures that resemble a spinning top on a tripod and revealed that the two XB co-crystals are isomorphous, with slightly different C-X···NR3 (X = I, Br) distances and packing interactions. Quadrupolar-echo2H NMR experiments with2H-labeled samples showed that fast rotation of dabco in these co-crystals follows a six-fold potential energy surface with three lowest energy minima. Variable-temperature 1H NMR spin-lattice relaxation (VT 1H T1) data revealed rotational dynamics with indistinguishable pre-exponential factors and small but distinguishable activation energies. The activation energy of 4b (Ea = 0.71 kcal mol-1) is the lowest reported in the field of amphidynamic crystals. Using the Eyring equation, we established that their activation entropy for rotation is small but negative (ΔS = -3.0 cal mol-1 K-1), while there is almost a 2-fold difference in activation enthalpies, with 4a having a higher barrier (ΔH = 0.95 kcal mol-1) than 4b (ΔH = 0.54 kcal mol-1)-Analysis of the rotator cavity in the two co-crystals revealed subtle differences in steric interactions that account for their different activation energies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)843-848
    JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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