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Water docking bias in [4]helicene

Authors: Sérgio R. Domingos; Kévin Martin; Narcis Avarvari; Melanie Schnell

Ref.: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 58, 11257-11261 (2019)

Abstract: We report on the one‐ and two‐water clusters of [4]helicene, the smallest polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon with a helical sense, which were captured in the gas phase using high‐resolution rotational spectroscopy. The structures of the complexes are unambiguously revealed using microwave spectra of isotopically enriched species. In the one‐water cluster, the apparent splitting pattern is consistent with a tunneling motion that encompasses an exchange of strongly and weakly bonded water hydrogens. This motion is “locked” in the two‐water cluster. The relevant intermolecular contacts, symmetry, and aromaticity effects are unveiled for the microsolvated chiral topologies. These observations entail the first glance at the structures and internal dynamics of the water binding motifs of a chiral polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon.

DOI: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/anie.201902889