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Carboxylic acids are a typical example of a discrete oligomeric species that are held together by intermolecular hydrogen bonds ( [link] a). A wide range of structurally analogous compounds also form head-to-tail hydrogen bonded dimers (e.g., [link] ). In a polymeric hydrogen bonded species every molecule hydrogen bonds but in a random form. As an example, liquid primary alcohols form extended hydrogen networks ( [link] b). Such an arrangement is labile and as such it is difficult to determine definitive speciation. Liquids that form this type of hydrogen-bonded network are known as associated liquids . In the solid state the networks generally adopt a more ordered structure. For example as is seen in the structure of ice.

Structure of (a) the head-to-tail dimmer formed between two carboxylic acid molecules, and (b) a typical network of a primary alcohol in the liquid phase.
Structure of the hydrogen bonded diner of (C 6 H 5 )NNN(H)(C 6 F 5 ). Adapted from J. T. Leman, J. Braddock-Wilking, A. J. Coolong, and A. R. Barron, Inorg. Chem. , 1993, 32 , 4324.

Methods of study

The study of the structure arising from hydrogen bonding and the properties exhibited due to the presence of hydrogen bonds is very important.

Diffraction methods

X-ray diffraction of single crystals is the most common structural method employed to determine the presence, effect, and strength of a hydrogen bond. Unfortunately, in order for the location of the hydrogen to be determined with some degree of accuracy, diffraction data of a high quality is needed and/or low temperature (e.g., -196 °C) data collection is required. Neutron scattering can be used where very accurate data is required because hydrogen atoms scatter neutrons better than they do X-rays. [link] summarizes the key parameters that are obtained from X-ray (and neutron) diffraction experiments.

Structural parameters obtained from diffraction methods.

Given the electrostatic nature of a hydrogen bond between a polar X-H bond and a Lewis base it is reasonable that the X-H ... Y angle (θ) is roughly linear (i.e., 180°). However, it is not always so and non-linear interactions are known where steric or conformational restrictions limit the orientation of the X-H bond with respect to Y.

The distance between X and Y, d(X ... Y), is less than the sum of the van der Waal radii of X and Y ( [link] ). This is in line with the relative strength of these interactions. As would be expected the shorter the X ... Y distance the stronger the hydrogen bond.

Comparison of the X ... Y distance in hydrogen bonded species with the sum of the van der Waal radii.
X Y Sum of van der Waal radii (Å) Typical X ... Y distance (Å)
O O 2.8 2.50 – 2.69
O N 2.9 2.75 - 2.85
N N 3.0 2.69 – 2.98

The bond distance to hydrogen, d(X-H), is often longer in hydrogen bonded species. For example the O-H distance for an alcohol in the absence of hydrogen bonding is typically 0.97 Å. In contrast, the value typically seen for a hydrogen-bonded analog is 1.05 Å.


Spectroscopy is a simple method of comparing hydrogen-bonded systems in particular in the solution or liquid phase.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Source:  OpenStax, Hydrogen. OpenStax CNX. Sep 28, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10984/1.4
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