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The Weak Hydrogen BondIn Structural Chemistry and Biology$
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Gautam Desiraju and Thomas Steiner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198509707

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198509707.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
The Weak Hydrogen Bond



Oxford University Press

The hydrogen bond is a unique phenomenon in both structural chemistry and structural biology. Its fundamental importance lies in its role in molecular association. Its functional importance stems from both thermodynamic and kinetic reasons. In supramolecular chemistry, the hydrogen bond is able to control and direct the structures of molecular assemblies because it is sufficiently strong and sufficiently directional. In this introductory chapter, a historical background of the hydrogen bond is presented. The geometrical parameters and definitions of a hydrogen bond are then discussed, along with energetic parameters and definitions, the weak or non-conventional hydrogen bond, classification of hydrogen bonds, the nature of the hydrogen bond interaction and its limits, differences between strong and weak hydrogen bonds, and methods of studying weak hydrogen bonds including crystal structure analysis, vibrational spectroscopy, gas-phase rotational spectroscopy, and computation.

Keywords:   weak hydrogen bond, hydrogen bond, crystal structure, vibrational spectroscopy, gas-phase rotational spectroscopy, computation

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