Ion Aggregation and R3N+-C(R)-H···NR3 Hydrogen Bonding in a Fluorous Phase

Evan L. Anderson, Nicole M. Gingery, Paul G. Boswell, Xin V. Chen, József Rábai, Philippe Bühlmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Potentiometric selectivities show that in fluorous ion-selective electrode membranes the tetrabutylammonium ion binds to fluorophilic proton ionophores. For the ionophore bis[3-(perfluorooctyl)propyl](2,2,2-trifluoroethyl)amine, this type of interaction is confirmed by the effect of the ionophore on the ionic conductivity of perfluoro(perhydrophenanthrene) solutions of a fluorophilic NBu4+ salt. In this system, ion pairs, triple ions, and higher ionic aggregates dominate over single ions, and the ionophore increases the conductivity by favoring the formation of ion aggregates with a net charge. These observations are consistent with the formation of R3N+-C(R)-H···NR3 type hydrogen bonds between the nitrogen atom of the ionophore and the hydrogen atoms in the α position to the positively charged quaternary ammonium center of NBu4+. Similar interactions were observed in a number of crystalline phases. To date, observations of C-H···N type hydrogen bonds in liquid phases have been very few, and solution-phase N+-C-H···N type hydrogen bonds have not been reported previously. Interestingly, no interactions between NBu4+ and the more basic ionophore tridodecylamine were observed in conventional plasticized poly(vinyl chloride) membranes doped with the ionophore tridodecylamine, emphasizing the uniquely low polarity of fluorous phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11239-11246
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number43
StatePublished - Nov 3 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the National Science Foundation (Grant CTS-0428046 to P.B.), the National Institutes of Health

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


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