Synthetic, structural, and computational investigations of N-alkyl benzo-2,1,3-selenadiazolium iodides and their supramolecular aggregates†
Despite their versatility, the application of telluradiazoles as supramolecular building blocks is considerably constrained by their sensitivity to moisture. Albeit more robust, their selenium analogues form weaker supramolecular interactions. These, however, are enhanced when one nitrogen atom is bonded to an alkyl group. Here we investigate general methods for the synthesis of such derivatives. Methyl, iso-propyl and tert-butyl benzo-2,1,3-selenadiazolium cations were prepared by direct alkylation or cyclo-condensation of the alkyl-phenylenediamine with selenous acid. While the former reaction only proceeds with the primary and tertiary alkyl iodides, the latter is very efficient. Difficulties reported in earlier literature are attributable to the formation of adducts of benzoselenadiazole with its alkylated cations and side reactions initiated by aerobic oxidation of iodide. However, the cations themselves are resilient to oxidation and stable in acidic to neutral aqueous medium. X-ray crystallography was used in the identification and characterization of the following compounds: [C6H4N2(R)Se]+X−, (R = CH(CH3)2, C(CH3)3; X = I−, I3−], [C6H4N2(CH3)Se]+I−, and [C6H4N2Se][C6H4N2(CH3)Se]2I2. Formation of Se⋯N secondary bonding interactions (chalcogen bonds) was only observed in the last structure as anion binding to selenium is a strong competitor. The relative strengths of those forces and the structural preferences they enforce were assessed with DFT-D3 calculations supplemented by AIM analysis of the electron density.