Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.139, No.46, 16696-16707, 2017
Intramolecular London Dispersion Interaction Effects on Gas-Phase and Solid-State Structures of Diamondoid Dimers
The covalent diamantyl (C28H38) and oxadiamantyl (C26H34O2) dimers are stabilized by London dispersion attractions between the dimer moieties. Their solid-state and gas phase structures were studied using a multitechnique approach, including single-crystal X-ray diffraction (XRD), gas-phase electron diffraction (GED), a combined GED/microwave (MW) spectroscopy study, and quantum chemical calculations. The inclusion of medium-range electron correlation as well as the London dispersion energy in density functional theory is essential to reproduce the experimental geometries. The conformational dynamics computed for C26H34O2 agree well with solution NMR data and help in the assignment of the gas-phase MW data to individual diastereomers. Both in the solid state and the gas phase the central C-C bond is of similar length for the diamantyl [XRD, 1.642(2) angstrom; GED, 1.630(5) angstrom] and the oxadiamantyl dimers [XRD, 1.643(1) angstrom; GED, 1.632(9) angstrom; GED+MW, 1.632(5) angstrom], despite the presence of two oxygen atoms. Out of a larger series of quantum chemical computations, the best match with the experimental reference data is achieved with the PBEh-3c, PBEO-D3, PBEO, B3PW91-D3, and M06-2X approaches. This is the first gas-phase confirmation that the markedly elongated C-C bond is an intrinsic feature of the molecule and that crystal packing effects have only a minor influence.