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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 variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
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 did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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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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