17O NMR and DFT study of hydrogen bonding: Proton sharing and incipient transfer
17O NMR spectra of pyridine N-oxide (PyO) complexes with the acids – acetic (AA), cyanoacetic (CyA), propiolic (PA), trichloroacetic (TCA), trifluoroacetic (TFA), hydrochloric (HCl) and methanesulfonic (MSA) – as well as some related molecules with intramolecular H-bonds (4-substituted picolinic acid N-oxides) were studied in an acetonitrile (ACN) solution. In order to evaluate the effect of proton positioning along the O–H…O bond on the measured chemical shifts the full geometry optimization was carried out, and 17O magnetic shielding tensors were calculated using density functional theory (DFT). The modified hybrid functional PBE1PBE with the 6-311++G** basis set and the gauge-including atomic orbital (GIAO) approach were applied. The solvent effect was taken into account by a polarized continuum model using the integral equation formalism (IEFPCM). Two stable structures were deduced for the PyO complexes with TCA and TFA that correspond to the H-bonds with and without proton transfer (PT). Two minima on the potential surface were separated by ca 0.2 Å. The experimental 17O NMR spectra have shown that the PyO-TCA complex in ACN can be considered as H-bonding with incipient PT, whereas it is known from neutron diffraction that in its crystalline state PT occurs. The proton location in PyO-TFA due to the thermally induced proton sharing was found at the middle point. The 17O NMR data for the acids with an intramolecular H-bond (nitroPANO, PANO and methoxyPANO) deviate from the general trend. The factors that can cause it, such as the substitution effect, persistence of nano-crystallites in a solution due to a low solubility, etc., have been discussed.