FDHALO17: The anomalous Halogen Bonding Interactions between Chlorine and Bromine with Water in Clathrate Hydrates
Clathrate hydrate phases of Cl2 and Br2 guest molecules have been known for about 200 years. The crystal structure of these phases was recently re-determined with high accuracy by single crystal X-ray diffraction. In these structures, the water oxygen-halogen atom distances are determined to be shorter than the sum of the van der Waals radii, which indicates the action of some type of non-covalent interaction between the dihalogens and water molecules. Given that both lone pairs of each water oxygen atom are engaged in hydrogen bonding with other water molecules of the lattice, the nature of the oxygen-halogen interactions may not be the standard halogen bonds characterized recently in the solid state materials and enzyme-substrate compounds. The nature of the halogen-water interactions for the Cl2 and Br2 molecules in two isolated clathrate hydrate cages has recently been studied with ab initio calculations (Ochoa-Resendiz et al. J. Chem. Phys. 2016, 145, 161104). Here we present the results of ab initio calculations and natural localized molecular orbital analysis for Cl2 and Br2 guests in all cage types observed in the cubic structure I and tetragonal structure I clathrate hydrates to determine orbital interactions between the dihalogen guests and water. Calculations with isolated cages and cages with one shell of coordinating molecules are considered. The computational analysis is used to understand the nature of the halogen bonding in these materials and to interpret the guest positions in the hydrate cages obtained from the X-ray crystal structures.