Molecular interactions between uracil and nitrous acid (U–NA) [C4N2O2H4NO2H] have been studied using B3LYP, B3PW91, and MP2 methods with different basis sets. The optimized geometries, harmonic vibrational frequencies, charge transfer, topological properties of electron density, nucleus-independent chemical shift (NICS), and nuclear magnetic resonance one- and two-bonds spin–spin coupling constants were calculated for U–NA complexes. In interaction between U and NA, eight cyclic complexes were obtained with two intermolecular hydrogen bonds N(C)HU…N(O) and OHNA…OU. In these complexes, uracil (U) simultaneously acts as proton acceptor and proton donor. The most stable complexes labeled, UNA1 and UNA2, are formed via NH bond of U with highest acidity and CO group of U with lowest proton affinity. There is a relationship between hydrogen bond distances and the corresponding frequency shifts. The solvent effect on complexes stability was examined using B3LYP method with the aug-cc-pVDZ basis set by applying the polarizable continuum model (PCM). The binding energies in the gas phase have also been compared with solvation energies computed using the PCM. Natural bond orbital analysis shows that in all complexes, the charge transfer takes place from U to NA. The results predict that the Lone Pair (LP)(O)U → σ*(OH) and LP(N(O)NA → σ*(N(C)H)U donor–acceptor interactions are most important interactions in these complexes. Atom in molecule analysis confirms that hydrogen bond contacts are electrostatic in nature and covalent nature of proton donor groups decreases upon complexation. The relationship between spin–spin coupling constant (1hJH…Y and 2hJH…Y) with interaction energy and electronic density at corresponding hydrogen bond critical points and H-bonds distances are investigated. NICS used for indicating of aromaticity of U ring upon complexation. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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