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The Energetic Significance of Metallophilic Interactions

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Original languageEnglish
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Early online date3 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jul 2019


Metallophilic interactions are increasingly recognized as playing an important role in molecular assembly, catalysis, and bio-imaging. However, present knowledge of these interactions is largely derived from solid-state structures and gas-phase computational studies rather than quantitative experimental measurements. Here, we have experimentally quantified the role of aurophilic (AuI···AuI), platinophilic (PtII···PtII), palladophilic (PdII···PdII) and nickelophilic (NiII···NiII) interactions in self-association and ligand-exchange processes. All of these metallophilic interactions were found to be too weak to be well-expressed in several solvents. Computational energy decomposition analyses supported the experimental finding that metallophilic interactions are overall weak, meaning that favorable dispersion and orbital hybridization contributions from M···M binding are largely outcompeted by electrostatic or dispersion interactions involving ligand or solvent molecules. This combined experimental and computational study provides a general understanding of metallophilic interactions and indicates that great care must be taken to avoid over-attributing the energetic significance of metallophilic interactions.

ID: 99615684