Polymer Soft-Landing Isolation of Acetylene on Polystyrene and Poly(vinylpyridine): A Novel Approach to Probing Hydrogen Bonding in Polymers


Yike Li: student co-author

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Journal of Physical Chemistry B


Hydrogen-bonded complexes of acetylene(Ac) with the polymers polystyrene (PS), poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP),and poly(2-vinylpyridine) (P2VP) have been characterized for the first time at 16 K in a “polymer soft-landing isolation” experiment which is being pioneered in our research laboratory. In particular, changes in vibrational modes of Ac provide ample evidence for hydrogen-bonded complexes between Ac and the phenyl groups of PS or the pyridyl groups of P4VP and P2VP. With PS, the proton on the top Ac molecule of the classic T-shaped Ac dimer interacts with the π cloud of the benzene (Bz) ring to form a C–H---π interaction, while the π cloud of the lower Ac forms a second C–H---π interaction with a proton on the Bz ring. An analogous (ring)1–(Ac)2 double interaction occurs between an Ac dimer and the pyridine (Pyr) rings on both P2VP and P4VP, yielding a C–H---N and C–H---π interaction. With P4VP and P2VP a second bridged (ring)2–(Ac)2 product is formed, with the Ac dimer forming nearly collinear C–H---N hydrogen bonds to adjacent Pyr rings. On P2VP this bridged product is the only one after extensive annealing. These complexes in which Ac acts as both proton donor and acceptor have not previously been observed in conventional matrix isolation experiments. This study is the second from our laboratory employing this method, which represents a slight modification of the traditional matrix isolation technique.


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