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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.441) 6 Conclusions
The Weak Hydrogen Bond



Oxford University Press

The weak hydrogen bond was first identified in 1935, but it was only in the early 1990s that it really permeated into the consciousness of chemists and biologists. It only seems natural that this interaction was explored first using spectroscopy, followed by crystallography. In structural supramolecular chemistry, a crystal structure is often not the result of hierarchic interaction preferences but a convolution of a large number of strong and weak interactions, each of which affect the rest intimately. Methods for codification of crystal structures must take this into account if they are to be accurate and useful. Of course, the goal of a subject like crystal engineering is to design systems where the interaction preferences are hierarchic, or in other words where the interaction interference is at a minimum. However, most crystal structures are not so predictable and the challenge posed by weak hydrogen bonding effects to the dogma of crystal engineering remains a real one.

Keywords:   weak hydrogen bond, crystal structures, supramolecular chemistry, crystal engineering, crystallography, spectroscopy

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