Non-Classical Synthons: Supramolecular Recognition by S⋅⋅⋅O Chalcogen Bonding in Molecular Complexes of Riluzole

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  • Sajesh P. Thomas
  • Vijith Kumar, Indian Institute of Science
  • ,
  • Khidhir Alhameedi, University of Western Australia
  • ,
  • T. N. Guru Row, Indian Institute of Science

Classical examples of supramolecular recognition units or synthons are the ones formed by hydrogen bonds. Here, we report the ubiquity of a S⋅⋅⋅O chalcogen bonded synthon observed in a series of supramolecular complexes of the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis drug riluzole. Although the potential of higher chalcogens such as Se and Te to form robust and directional chalcogen bonded motifs is known, intermolecular sulfur chalcogen bonding is considered to be weak owing to the lower polarizability of S atoms. Here, the robustness and electronic nature of a S⋅⋅⋅O chalcogen bonding non-classical synthon, and the origin of its exceptional directionality have been explored. Bond orders of the drug–coformer chalcogen bonding are found to be as high as one third of a single bond, and they are largely ionic in nature. The contribution of the S⋅⋅⋅O chalcogen bonded motifs to the lattice energies of a series of crystals from the Cambridge Structural Database has been analyzed, showing they can be indeed significant, especially in molecules devoid of strong hydrogen bond donor groups.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Pages (from-to)3591-3597
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • chalcogen bonding, crystal engineering, non-covalent interactions, supramolecular synthons

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