The Structure of Water in p-Sulfonatocalix[4]arene

Katharina Edkins, Kirsty M. Anderson, Maria H. Filby, Marc Henry, Jonathan Wright, Sax A. Mason, Matthias J. Gutmann, Leonard J. Barbour, Clive Oliver, Antony W. Coleman, Jerry L. Atwood, Judith A.K. Howard, Jonathan W. Steed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Tetrasodium p-sulfonatocalix[4]arene exists as a hydrate with approximately 14 water molecules and has three polymorphic modifications, all of which contain a water molecule in the molecular cavity that is engaged in OH⋅⋅⋅π interactions. Single-crystal neutron structures are reported for two of these three forms and reveal a “compressed” water molecule with short OH bonds. Partial atomic charges and hardness analysis (PACHA) calculations based on the neutron coordinates give an OH⋅⋅⋅π interaction energy of 6.9–7.5 kJ mol−1. The PACHA analysis also reveals the dominance of the charge-assisted hydrogen bonds from the Na+-coordinated water molecules. The instability of the crystal towards dehydration can be traced to an uncoordinated lattice water site. The remarkable calixarene-Na+-hydrate motif is conserved almost unchanged across all three polymorphs. A single-crystal neutron structure is also reported for pentasodium p-sulfonatocalix[4]arene⋅12 H2O, which exhibits an intracavity water molecule that is engaged in both OH⋅⋅⋅π and OH⋅⋅⋅O hydrogen bonding. The shorter covalent bond to the hydrogen atom that forms the interaction with the aromatic ring is again apparent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10259-10271
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2011

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