Binary complexes between the chiral monoterpenoids camphor and α-fenchol were explored with vibrational and rotational jet spectroscopy as well as density functional theory in order to explore how chirality can influence the binding preferences in gas-phase complexes. The global minimum structures of the two diastereomers were assigned. It is found that chirality recognition leads to different compromises in the fine balance between intermolecular interactions. While one isomer features a stronger hydrogen bond, the other one is more tightly arranged and stabilized by larger London dispersion interactions. These new spectroscopic results help understand the influence of chirality in molecular aggregation and unveil the kind of interactions involved between a chiral alcohol and a chiral ketone with large dispersion contributions.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2022 PCCP HOT Articles