Cooperative interaction of H3O+ with 1,3-alternate tetrapropoxycalixarene: NMR and theoretical study.
Interaction of H3O+ or H5O2+ with 1,3-alternate tetrapropoxycalixarene (1) was studied in nitrobenzene and dichloromethane using 1H and 13C NMR including transverse and rotating-frame relaxations and density functional level of theory (DFT) quantum calculations. According to NMR, the ion forms an equimolecular complex with 1 with the equilibrium constant K being 3.97 x 10(3) L.mol(-1) at 296 K. The ions are bound by strong hydrogen bonds to the phenoxy-oxygen atoms of one half of 1 and by a medium-strong hydrogen bond to the pi system of the aromatic rings of the other half. The complex appears to have C(4h) symmetry in NMR even when cooling its solution down to 213 K, which could be due either to a genuine symmetry of the complex (if the ion is H5O2+) or to fast structure averaging by ion exchange processes (if the ion is H3O+). Therefore, the dynamics of the system was studied. Using two independent NMR methods (transverse and rotating-frame relaxation), two different exchange processes were discerned with correlation times 25 x 10(-6) and 5 x 10(-6) s, the first being clearly intermolecular and the other being apparently intramolecular. The energetic aspects of the possible exchange processes were examined by DFT quantum calculations. Rotation of H3O+ ion within one binding site with the energy barrier 8.13 kcal/mol is easily possible. Intermolecular exchange by freeing the ion from the complex has too high a barrier but cooperative interaction of the ion with additional water molecules makes it viable. The intramolecular exchange (or hopping) of the H3O+ ion between the two sites of the molecule is not viable in the classical manner, the barrier being 25.6 kcal/mol. Quantum tunneling of the ion is highly improbable, too. Alternative mechanisms including concerted two-ion intermolecular exchange and cooperative interaction with another bound water molecule including complexation with proton dihydrate H5O2+ are discussed.
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