The Nature of Bond Critical Points in Dinuclear Copper(I) Complexes

Authors

  • Shrabani Dinda,

    1. Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012 (India), Fax: (+91) 80-2360-1552
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  • Prof. Ashoka G. Samuelson

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012 (India), Fax: (+91) 80-2360-1552
    • Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012 (India), Fax: (+91) 80-2360-1552
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Abstract

Closed-shell contacts between two copper(I) ions are expected to be repulsive. However, such contacts are quite frequent and are well documented. Crystallographic characterization of such contacts in unsupported and bridged multinuclear copper(I) complexes has repeatedly invited debates on the existence of cuprophilicity. Recent developments in the application of Bader’s theory of atoms-in-molecules (AIM) to systems in which weak hydrogen bonds are involved suggests that the copper(I)–copper(I) contacts would benefit from a similar analysis. Thus the nature of electron-density distributions in copper(I) dimers that are unsupported, and those that are bridged, have been examined. A comparison of complexes that are dimers of symmetrical monomers and those that are dimers of two copper(I) monomers with different coordination spheres has also been made. AIM analysis shows that a bond critical point (BCP) between two Cu atoms is present in most cases. The nature of the BCP in terms of the electron density, ρ, and its Laplacian is quite similar to the nature of critical points observed in hydrogen bonds in the same systems. The ρ is inversely correlated to Cu[BOND]Cu distance. It is higher in asymmetrical systems than what is observed in corresponding symmetrical systems. By examining the ratio of the local electron potential-energy density (Vc) to the kinetic energy density (Gc), |Vc|/Gc at the critical point suggests that these interactions are not perfectly ionic but have some shared nature. Thus an analysis of critical points by using AIM theory points to the presence of an attractive metallophilic interaction similar to other well-documented weak interactions like hydrogen bonding.

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