Resonance-Induced Hydrogen Bonding at Sulfur Acceptors in R1R2C=S and R1CS-2 Systems

Frank H. Allen, Craig M. Bird, R. Scott Rowland, Paul R. Raithby

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The hydrogen-bond acceptor ability of sulfur in C=S systems has been investigated using crystallographic data retrieved from the Cambridge Structural Database and via ab initio molecular orbital calculations. The R1R2C=S bond lengths span a wide range, from 1.58 Å in pure thiones (R1 = R2 = Csp3) to 1.75 Å in thioureido species (R1 = R2 = N) and in dithioates -CS-2. The frequency of hydrogen-bond formation at =S increases from 4.8% for C=S ≃ 1.63 Å to more than 70% for C=S > 1.70 Å in uncharged species. The effective electronegativity of S is increased by conjugative interactions between C=S and the lone pairs of one or more N substituents (R1R2): a clear example of resonance-induced hydrogen bonding. More than 80% of S in -CS-2 accept hydrogen bonds. C=S⋯H-N,O bonds are shown to be significantly weaker than their C=O⋯H-N,O analogues by (a) comparing mean S⋯H and O⋯H distances (taking account of the differing non-bonded sizes of S and O and using neutron-normalized H positions) and (b) comparing frequencies of hydrogen-bond formation in 'competitive' environments, i.e. in structures containing both C=S and C=O acceptors. The directional properties and hydrogen-bond coordination numbers of C=S and C=O acceptors have also been compared. There is evidence for lone-pair directionality in both systems, but =S is more likely (17% of cases) than =O (4%) to accept more than two hydrogen bonds. Ab initio calculations of residual atomic charges and electrostatic potentials reinforce the crystallographic observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-695
Number of pages16
JournalActa Crystallographica Section B: Structural Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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