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1.  Distinguishing tautomerism in the crystal structure of (Z)-N-(5-ethyl-2,3-di­hydro-1,3,4-thia­diazol-2-yl­idene)-4-methyl­benzene­sulfonamide using DFT-D calculations and 13C solid-state NMR 
The crystal structure of (Z)-N-(5-ethyl-2,3-di­hydro-1,3,4-thia­diazol-2-yl­idene)-4-methyl­benzene­sulfonamide contains an imine tautomer, rather than the previously reported amine tautomer. The tautomers can be distinguished using dispersion-corrected density functional theory calculations and by comparison of calculated and measured 13C solid-state NMR spectra.
The crystal structure of the title compound, C11H13N3O2S2, has been determined previously on the basis of refinement against laboratory powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) data, supported by comparison of measured and calculated 13C solid-state NMR spectra [Hangan et al. (2010 ▶). Acta Cryst. B66, 615–621]. The mol­ecule is tautomeric, and was reported as an amine tautomer [systematic name: N-(5-ethyl-1,3,4-thia­diazol-2-yl)-p-toluene­sulfonamide], rather than the correct imine tautomer. The protonation site on the mol­ecule’s 1,3,4-thia­diazole ring is indicated by the inter­molecular contacts in the crystal structure: N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds are established at the correct site, while the alternative protonation site does not establish any notable inter­molecular inter­actions. The two tautomers provide essentially identical Rietveld fits to laboratory PXRD data, and therefore they cannot be directly distinguished in this way. However, the correct tautomer can be distinguished from the incorrect one by previously reported qu­anti­tative criteria based on the extent of structural distortion on optimization of the crystal structure using dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) calculations. Calculation of the 13C SS-NMR spectrum based on the correct imine tautomer also provides considerably better agreement with the measured 13C SS-NMR spectrum.
doi:10.1107/S2053229614015356
PMCID: PMC4174016  PMID: 25093360
crystal structure; powder diffraction; NMR analysis; amine–imine tautomerism; dispersion-corrected DFT
2.  Validation of molecular crystal structures from powder diffraction data with dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) 
The accuracy of 215 experimental organic crystal structures from powder diffraction data is validated against a dispersion-corrected density functional theory method.
In 2010 we energy-minimized 225 high-quality single-crystal (SX) structures with dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) to establish a quantitative benchmark. For the current paper, 215 organic crystal structures determined from X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) data and published in an IUCr journal were energy-minimized with DFT-D and compared to the SX benchmark. The on average slightly less accurate atomic coordinates of XRPD structures do lead to systematically higher root mean square Cartesian displacement (RMSCD) values upon energy minimization than for SX structures, but the RMSCD value is still a good indicator for the detection of structures that deserve a closer look. The upper RMSCD limit for a correct structure must be increased from 0.25 Å for SX structures to 0.35 Å for XRPD structures; the grey area must be extended from 0.30 to 0.40 Å. Based on the energy minimizations, three structures are re-refined to give more precise atomic coordinates. For six structures our calculations provide the missing positions for the H atoms, for five structures they provide corrected positions for some H atoms. Seven crystal structures showed a minor error for a non-H atom. For five structures the energy minimizations suggest a higher space-group symmetry. For the 225 SX structures, the only deviations observed upon energy minimization were three minor H-atom related issues. Preferred orientation is the most important cause of problems. A preferred-orientation correction is the only correction where the experimental data are modified to fit the model. We conclude that molecular crystal structures determined from powder diffraction data that are published in IUCr journals are of high quality, with less than 4% containing an error in a non-H atom.
doi:10.1107/S2052520614022902
PMCID: PMC4468513  PMID: 25449625
dispersion-corrected density functional theory; powder data validation; energy mimimization
3.  Validation of experimental molecular crystal structures with dispersion-corrected density functional theory calculations 
The accuracy of a dispersion-corrected density functional theory method is validated against 241 experimental organic crystal structures from Acta Cryst. Section E.
This paper describes the validation of a dispersion-corrected density functional theory (d-DFT) method for the purpose of assessing the correctness of experimental organic crystal structures and enhancing the information content of purely experimental data. 241 experimental organic crystal structures from the August 2008 issue of Acta Cryst. Section E were energy-minimized in full, including unit-cell parameters. The differences between the experimental and the minimized crystal structures were subjected to statistical analysis. The r.m.s. Cartesian displacement excluding H atoms upon energy minimization with flexible unit-cell parameters is selected as a pertinent indicator of the correctness of a crystal structure. All 241 experimental crystal structures are reproduced very well: the average r.m.s. Cartesian displacement for the 241 crystal structures, including 16 disordered structures, is only 0.095 Å (0.084 Å for the 225 ordered structures). R.m.s. Cartesian displacements above 0.25 Å either indicate incorrect experimental crystal structures or reveal interesting structural features such as exceptionally large temperature effects, incorrectly modelled disorder or symmetry breaking H atoms. After validation, the method is applied to nine examples that are known to be ambiguous or subtly incorrect.
doi:10.1107/S0108768110031873
PMCID: PMC2940256  PMID: 20841921
dispersion-corrected density functional theory; organic structures
4.  Role of the dispersion force in modeling the interfacial properties of molecule-metal interfaces: adsorption of thiophene on copper surfaces 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5036.
We present density functional theory calculations of the geometry, adsorption energy and electronic structure of thiophene adsorbed on Cu(111), Cu(110) and Cu(100) surfaces. Our calculations employ dispersion corrections and self-consistent van der Waals density functionals (vdW-DFs). In terms of speed and accuracy, we find that the dispersion-energy-corrected Revised Perdue-Burke-Enzerhof (RPBE) functional is the “best balanced” method for predicting structural and energetic properties, while vdW-DF is also highly accurate if a proper exchange functional is used. Discrepancies between theory and experiment in molecular geometry can be solved by considering x-ray generated core-holes. However, the discrepancy concerning the adsorption site for thiophene/Cu(100) remains unresolved and requires both further experiments and deeper theoretical analysis. For all the interfaces, the PBE functional reveals a covalent bonding picture which the inclusion of dispersive contributions does not change to a vdW one. Our results provide a comprehensive understanding of the role of dispersive forces in modelling molecule-metal interfaces.
doi:10.1038/srep05036
PMCID: PMC4030267  PMID: 24849493
5.  Structure of Pigment Yellow 181 dimethylsulfoxide N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (1:1:1) solvate from XRPD + DFT-D 
The relatively complex structure of a triclinic disolvate was solved from low-resolution laboratory powder diffraction data through the intermediate use of dummy atoms and the combination with quantum-mechanical calculations.
With only a 2.6 Å resolution laboratory powder diffraction pattern of the θ phase of Pigment Yellow 181 (P.Y. 181) available, crystal-structure solution and Rietveld refinement proved challenging; especially when the crystal structure was shown to be a triclinic dimethylsulfoxide N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (1:1:1) solvate. The crystal structure, which in principle has 28 possible degrees of freedom, was determined in three stages by a combination of simulated annealing, partial Rietveld refinement with dummy atoms replacing the solvent molecules and further simulated annealing. The θ phase not being of commercial interest, additional experiments were not economically feasible and additional dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) calculations were employed to confirm the correctness of the crystal structure. After the correctness of the structure had been ascertained, the bond lengths and valence angles from the DFT-D minimized crystal structure were fed back into the Rietveld refinement as geometrical restraints (‘polymorph-dependent restraints’) to further improve the details of the crystal structure; the positions of the H atoms were also taken from the DFT-D calculations. The final crystal structure is a layered structure with an elaborate network of hydrogen bonds.
doi:10.1107/S2052520615000724
PMCID: PMC4316649  PMID: 25643720
Pigment Yellow 181; X-ray powder diffraction; dispersion-corrected density functional theory
6.  Structural basis for the transformation pathways of the sodium naproxen anhydrate–hydrate system 
IUCrJ  2014;1(Pt 5):328-337.
Relationships between the crystal structures of two polymorphs of sodium naproxen dihydrate and its monohydrate and anhydrate phases provide a basis to rationalize the observed transformation pathways in the sodium (S)-naproxen anhydrate–hydrate system.
Crystal structures are presented for two dihydrate polymorphs (DH-I and DH-II) of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug sodium (S)-naproxen. The structure of DH-I is determined from twinned single crystals obtained by solution crystallization. DH-II is obtained by solid-state routes, and its structure is derived using powder X-ray diffraction, solid-state 13C and 23Na MAS NMR, and molecular modelling. The validity of both structures is supported by dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) calculations. The structures of DH-I and DH-II, and in particular their relationships to the monohydrate (MH) and anhydrate (AH) structures, provide a basis to rationalize the observed transformation pathways in the sodium (S)-naproxen anhydrate–hydrate system. All structures contain Na+/carboxylate/H2O sections, alternating with sections containing the naproxen molecules. The structure of DH-I is essentially identical to MH in the naproxen region, containing face-to-face arrangements of the naphthalene rings, whereas the structure of DH-II is comparable to AH in the naproxen region, containing edge-to-face arrangements of the naphthalene rings. This structural similarity permits topotactic transformation between AH and DH-II, and between MH and DH-I, but requires re-organization of the naproxen molecules for transformation between any other pair of structures. The topotactic pathways dominate at room temperature or below, while the non-topotactic pathways become active at higher temperatures. Thermochemical data for the dehydration processes are rationalized in the light of this new structural information.
doi:10.1107/S2052252514015450
PMCID: PMC4174875  PMID: 25295174
pharmaceutical; hydrate; X-ray diffraction; solid-state NMR; DFT-D
7.  Theoretical modelling of epigenetically modified DNA sequences 
F1000Research  2015;4:52.
We report herein a set of calculations designed to examine the effects of epigenetic modifications on the structure of DNA. The incorporation of methyl, hydroxymethyl, formyl and carboxy substituents at the 5-position of cytosine is shown to hardly affect the geometry of CG base pairs, but to result in rather larger changes to hydrogen-bond and stacking binding energies, as predicted by dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT) methods. The same modifications within double-stranded GCG and ACA trimers exhibit rather larger structural effects, when including the sugar-phosphate backbone as well as sodium counterions and implicit aqueous solvation. In particular, changes are observed in the buckle and propeller angles within base pairs and the slide and roll values of base pair steps, but these leave the overall helical shape of DNA essentially intact. The structures so obtained are useful as a benchmark of faster methods, including molecular mechanics (MM) and hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods. We show that previously developed MM parameters satisfactorily reproduce the trimer structures, as do QM/MM calculations which treat bases with dispersion-corrected DFT and the sugar-phosphate backbone with AMBER. The latter are improved by inclusion of all six bases in the QM region, since a truncated model including only the central CG base pair in the QM region is considerably further from the DFT structure. This QM/MM method is then applied to a set of double-stranded DNA heptamers derived from a recent X-ray crystallographic study, whose size puts a DFT study beyond our current computational resources. These data show that still larger structural changes are observed than in base pairs or trimers, leading us to conclude that it is important to model epigenetic modifications within realistic molecular contexts.
doi:10.12688/f1000research.6148.1
PMCID: PMC4582758  PMID: 26448859
Epigenetics; DNA modifications; DNA methylation; Density functional theory; hybrid QM/MM calculations; DNA model systems
8.  Performance of Møller-Plesset second-order perturbation theory and density functional theory in predicting the interaction between stannylenes and aromatic molecules 
The performances of Møller-Plesset second-order perturbation theory (MP2) and density functional theory (DFT) have been assessed for the purposes of investigating the interaction between stannylenes and aromatic molecules. The complexes between SnX2 (where X = H, F, Cl, Br, and I) and benzene or pyridine are considered. Structural and energetic properties of such complexes are calculated using six MP2-type and 14 DFT methods. The assessment of the above-mentioned methods is based on the comparison of the structures and interaction energies predicted by these methods with reference computational data. A very detailed analysis of the performances of the MP2-type and DFT methods is carried out for two complexes, namely SnH2-benzene and SnH2-pyridine. Of the MP2-type methods, the reference structure of SnH2-benzene is reproduced best by SOS-MP2, whereas SCS-MP2 is capable of mimicking the reference structure of SnH2-pyridine with the greatest accuracy. The latter method performs best in predicting the interaction energy between SnH2 and benzene or pyridine. Among the DFT methods, ωB97X provides the structures and interaction energies of the SnH2-benzene and SnH2-pyridine complexes with good accuracy. However, this density functional is not as effective in reproducing the reference data for the two complexes as the best performing MP2-type methods. Next, the DFT methods are evaluated using the full test set of SnX2-benzene and SnX2-pyridine complexes. It is found that the range-separated hybrid or dispersion-corrected density functionals should be used for describing the interaction in such complexes with reasonable accuracy.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00894-015-2589-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00894-015-2589-1
PMCID: PMC4326664  PMID: 25677452
Benchmarking; MP2; DFT; Benzene; Pyridine; Stannylene
9.  The Nature of Noncovalent Interactions in Catenane Supramolecular Complexes: Calibrating the MM3 Force Field with ab initio, DFT and SAPT Methods 
The journal of physical chemistry. A  2013;117(33):10.1021/jp400051b.
The design and assembly of mechanically interlocked molecules, such as catenanes and rotaxanes, are dictated by various types of noncovalent interactions. In particular, [C-H⋯O] hydrogen-bonding and π-π stacking interactions in these supramolecular complexes have been identified as important noncovalent interactions. With this in mind, we examined the [3] catenane 2·4PF6 using molecular mechanics (MM3), ab initio methods (HF, MP2), several versions of density functional theory (DFT) (B3LYP, M0X), and the dispersion-corrected method DFT-D3. Symmetry adapted perturbation theory (DFT-SAPT) provides the highest level of theory considered, and we use the DFT-SAPT results both to calibrate the other electronic structure methods, and the empirical potential MM3 force field that is often used to describe larger catenane and rotaxane structures where [C-H⋯O] hydrogen-bonding and π-π stacking interactions play a role. Our results indicate that the MM3 calculated complexation energies agree qualitatively with the energetic ordering from DFT-SAPT calculations with an aug-cc-pVTZ basis, both for structures dominated by [C-H⋯O] hydrogen-bonding and π-π stacking interactions. When the DFT-SAPT energies are decomposed into components, and we find that electrostatic interactions dominate the [C-H⋯O] hydrogen-bonding interactions while dispersion makes a significant contribution to π-π stacking. Another important conclusion is that DFT-D3 based on M06 or M06-2X provides interactions energies that are in near-quantitative agreement with DFT-SAPT. DFT results without the D3 correct have important differences compared to DFT-SAPT while HF and even MP2 results are in poor agreement with DFT-SAPT.
doi:10.1021/jp400051b
PMCID: PMC3840798  PMID: 23941280
catenanes; dispersion; MM3 force field; supramolecular complexes and DFT-SAPT
10.  Specific energy contributions from competing hydrogen-bonded structures in six polymorphs of phenobarbital 
Background
In solid state structures of organic molecules, identical sets of H-bond donor and acceptor functions can result in a range of distinct H-bond connectivity modes. Specifically, competing H-bond structures (HBSs) may differ in the quantitative proportion between one-point and multiple-point H-bond connections. For an assessment of such HBSs, the effects of their internal as well as external (packing) interactions need to be taken into consideration. The semi-classical density sums (SCDS-PIXEL) method, which enables the calculation of interaction energies for molecule–molecule pairs, was used to investigate six polymorphs of phenobarbital (Pbtl) with different quantitative proportions of one-point and two-point H-bond connections.
Results
The structures of polymorphs V and VI of Pbtl were determined from single crystal data. Two-point H-bond connections are inherently inflexible in their geometry and lie within a small PIXEL energy range (−45.7 to −49.7 kJ mol−1). One-point H-bond connections are geometrically less restricted and subsequently show large variations in their dispersion terms and total energies (−23.1 to −40.5 kJ mol−1). The comparison of sums of interaction energies in small clusters containing only the strongest intermolecular interactions showed an advantage for compact HBSs with multiple-point connections, whereas alternative HBSs based on one-point connections may enable more favourable overall packing interactions (i.e. V vs. III). Energy penalties associated with experimental intramolecular geometries relative to the global conformational energy minimum were calculated and used to correct total PIXEL energies. The estimated order of stabilities (based on PIXEL energies) is III > I > II > VI > X > V, with a difference of just 1.7 kJ mol−1 between the three most stable forms.
Conclusions
For an analysis of competing HBSs, one has to consider the contributions from internal H-bond and non-H-bond interactions, from the packing of multiple HBS instances and intramolecular energy penalties. A compact HBS based on multiple-point H-bond connections should typically lead to more packing alternatives and ultimately to a larger number of viable low-energy structures than a competing one-point HBS (i.e. dimer vs. catemer). Coulombic interaction energies associated with typical short intermolecular C–H···O contact geometries are small in comparison with dispersion effects associated with the packing complementary molecular shapes.Graphical abstractCompeting H-bond motifs can differ markedly in their energy contributions
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13065-016-0152-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13065-016-0152-5
PMCID: PMC4763432  PMID: 26909105
11.  The Potential Utility of Predicted One Bond Carbon-Proton Coupling Constants in the Structure Elucidation of Small Organic Molecules by NMR Spectroscopy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e111576.
NMR spectroscopy is the most popular technique used for structure elucidation of small organic molecules in solution, but incorrect structures are regularly reported. One-bond proton-carbon J-couplings provide additional information about chemical structure because they are determined by different features of molecular structure than are proton and carbon chemical shifts. However, these couplings are not routinely used to validate proposed structures because few software tools exist to predict them. This study assesses the accuracy of Density Functional Theory for predicting them using 396 published experimental observations from a diverse range of small organic molecules. With the B3LYP functional and the TZVP basis set, Density Functional Theory calculations using the open-source software package NWChem can predict one-bond CH J-couplings with good accuracy for most classes of small organic molecule. The root-mean-square deviation after correction is 1.5 Hz for most sp3 CH pairs and 1.9 Hz for sp2 pairs; larger errors are observed for sp3 pairs with multiple electronegative substituents and for sp pairs. These results suggest that prediction of one-bond CH J-couplings by Density Functional Theory is sufficiently accurate for structure validation. This will be of particular use in strained ring systems and heterocycles which have characteristic couplings and which pose challenges for structure elucidation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111576
PMCID: PMC4218771  PMID: 25365289
12.  Towards crystal structure prediction of complex organic compounds – a report on the fifth blind test 
The results of the fifth blind test of crystal structure prediction, which show important success with more challenging large and flexible molecules, are presented and discussed.
Following on from the success of the previous crystal structure prediction blind tests (CSP1999, CSP2001, CSP2004 and CSP2007), a fifth such collaborative project (CSP2010) was organized at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre. A range of methodologies was used by the participating groups in order to evaluate the ability of the current computational methods to predict the crystal structures of the six organic molecules chosen as targets for this blind test. The first four targets, two rigid molecules, one semi-flexible molecule and a 1:1 salt, matched the criteria for the targets from CSP2007, while the last two targets belonged to two new challenging categories – a larger, much more flexible molecule and a hydrate with more than one polymorph. Each group submitted three predictions for each target it attempted. There was at least one successful prediction for each target, and two groups were able to successfully predict the structure of the large flexible molecule as their first place submission. The results show that while not as many groups successfully predicted the structures of the three smallest molecules as in CSP2007, there is now evidence that methodologies such as dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) are able to reliably do so. The results also highlight the many challenges posed by more complex systems and show that there are still issues to be overcome.
doi:10.1107/S0108768111042868
PMCID: PMC3222142  PMID: 22101543
prediction; blind test; polymorph; crystal structure prediction
13.  The Thermochemistry of London Dispersion-Driven Transition Metal Reactions: Getting the ‘Right Answer for the Right Reason’ 
ChemistryOpen  2014;3(5):177-189.
Reliable thermochemical measurements and theoretical predictions for reactions involving large transition metal complexes in which long-range intramolecular London dispersion interactions contribute significantly to their stabilization are still a challenge, particularly for reactions in solution. As an illustrative and chemically important example, two reactions are investigated where a large dipalladium complex is quenched by bulky phosphane ligands (triphenylphosphane and tricyclohexylphosphane). Reaction enthalpies and Gibbs free energies were measured by isotherm titration calorimetry (ITC) and theoretically ‘back-corrected’ to yield 0 K gas-phase reaction energies (ΔE). It is shown that the Gibbs free solvation energy calculated with continuum models represents the largest source of error in theoretical thermochemistry protocols. The (‘back-corrected’) experimental reaction energies were used to benchmark (dispersion-corrected) density functional and wave function theory methods. Particularly, we investigated whether the atom-pairwise D3 dispersion correction is also accurate for transition metal chemistry, and how accurately recently developed local coupled-cluster methods describe the important long-range electron correlation contributions. Both, modern dispersion-corrected density functions (e.g., PW6B95-D3(BJ) or B3LYP-NL), as well as the now possible DLPNO-CCSD(T) calculations, are within the ‘experimental’ gas phase reference value. The remaining uncertainties of 2–3 kcal mol−1 can be essentially attributed to the solvation models. Hence, the future for accurate theoretical thermochemistry of large transition metal reactions in solution is very promising.
doi:10.1002/open.201402017
PMCID: PMC4234214  PMID: 25478313
density functional theory; isothermal titration calorimetry; local coupled cluster; London dispersion interactions; transition metal reactions
14.  A proposal for a dipole-generated BLUF domain mechanism 
The resting and signaling structures of the blue-light sensing using flavin (BLUF) photoreceptor domains are still controversially debated due to differences in the molecular models obtained by crystal and NMR structures. Photocycles for the given preferred structural framework have been established, but a unifying picture combining experiment and theory remains elusive. We summarize present work on the AppA BLUF domain from both experiment and theory. We focus on IR and UV/vis spectra, and to what extent theory was able to reproduce experimental data and predict the structural changes upon formation of the signaling state. We find that the experimental observables can be theoretically reproduced employing any structural model, as long as the orientation of the signaling essential Gln63 and its tautomer state are a choice of the modeler. We also observe that few approaches are comparative, e.g., by considering all structures in the same context. Based on recent experimental findings and a few basic calculations, we suggest the possibility for a BLUF activation mechanism that only relies on electron transfer and its effect on the local electrostatics, not requiring an associated proton transfer. In this regard, we investigate the impact of dispersion correction on the interaction energies arising from weakly bound amino acids.
doi:10.3389/fmolb.2015.00062
PMCID: PMC4630285  PMID: 26579529
BLUF; flavin; signal transduction; protein structure; electron transfer
15.  Structural and spectral investigations of the recently synthesized chalcone (E)-3-mesityl-1-(naphthalen-2-yl) prop-2-en-1-one, a potential chemotherapeutic agent 
Background
Chalcones (1,3-diaryl-2-propen-1-ones, represent an important subgroup of the polyphenolic family, which have shown a wide spectrum of medical and industrial application. Due to their redundancy in plants and ease of preparation, this category of molecules has inspired considerable attention for potential therapeutic uses. They are also effective in vivo as anti-tumor promoting, cell proliferating inhibitors and chemo preventing agents.
Results
Synthesis and molecular structure investigation of (E)-3-mesityl-1-(naphthalen-2-yl) prop-2-en-1-one (3) is reported. The structure of the title compound 3 is confirmed by X-ray crystallography. The optimized molecular structure of the studied compound is calculated using DFT B3LYP/6-311G (d,p) method. The calculated geometric parameters are in good agreement with the experimental data obtained from our reported X-ay structure. The calculated IR fundamental bands were assigned and compared with the experimental data. The electronic spectra of the studied compound have been calculated using the time dependant density functional theory (TD-DFT). The longest wavelength band is due to H → L (79 %) electronic transition which belongs to π-π* excitation. The 1H- and 13C-NMR chemical shifts were calculated using gauge independent atomic orbitals (GIAO) method, which showed good correlations with the experimental data (R2 = 0.9911–0.9965). The natural bond orbital (NBO) calculations were performed to predict the natural atomic charges at different atomic sites. The molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) was used to visualize the charge distribution on the molecule. Molecular docking results suggest that the compound might exhibit inhibitory activity against GPb and may act as potential anti-diabetic compound.
Conclusions
(E)-3-Mesityl-1-(naphthalen-2-yl) prop-2-en-1-one single crystal is grown and characterized by single crystal X-ray diffraction, FT-IR, UV–vis, DFT and optimized geometrical parameters are close to the experimental bond lengths and angles. Molecular stability was successfully analyzed using NBO and electron delocalization is confirmed by MEP. Prediction of Activity Spectra Analysis of the title compound, predicts anti-diabetic activity with probability to have an active value of 0.348.
Graphical Abstract(E)-3-Mesityl-1-(naphthalen-2-yl) prop-2-en-1-one: a crystal structure and computational studies.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13065-015-0112-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13065-015-0112-5
PMCID: PMC4477317  PMID: 26106444
Aldol product; Chalcone; X-Ray; DFT compution; PAAS
16.  Structural and spectral investigations of the recently synthesized chalcone (E)-3-mesityl-1-(naphthalen-2-yl) prop-2-en-1-one, a potential chemotherapeutic agent 
Background
Chalcones (1,3-diaryl-2-propen-1-ones, represent an important subgroup of the polyphenolic family, which have shown a wide spectrum of medical and industrial application. Due to their redundancy in plants and ease of preparation, this category of molecules has inspired considerable attention for potential therapeutic uses. They are also effective in vivo as anti-tumor promoting, cell proliferating inhibitors and chemo preventing agents.
Results
Synthesis and molecular structure investigation of (E)-3-mesityl-1-(naphthalen-2-yl) prop-2-en-1-one (3) is reported. The structure of the title compound 3 is confirmed by X-ray crystallography. The optimized molecular structure of the studied compound is calculated using DFT B3LYP/6-311G (d,p) method. The calculated geometric parameters are in good agreement with the experimental data obtained from our reported X-ay structure. The calculated IR fundamental bands were assigned and compared with the experimental data. The electronic spectra of the studied compound have been calculated using the time dependant density functional theory (TD-DFT). The longest wavelength band is due to H → L (79 %) electronic transition which belongs to π-π* excitation. The 1H- and 13C-NMR chemical shifts were calculated using gauge independent atomic orbitals (GIAO) method, which showed good correlations with the experimental data (R2 = 0.9911–0.9965). The natural bond orbital (NBO) calculations were performed to predict the natural atomic charges at different atomic sites. The molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) was used to visualize the charge distribution on the molecule. Molecular docking results suggest that the compound might exhibit inhibitory activity against GPb and may act as potential anti-diabetic compound.
Conclusions
(E)-3-Mesityl-1-(naphthalen-2-yl) prop-2-en-1-one single crystal is grown and characterized by single crystal X-ray diffraction, FT-IR, UV–vis, DFT and optimized geometrical parameters are close to the experimental bond lengths and angles. Molecular stability was successfully analyzed using NBO and electron delocalization is confirmed by MEP. Prediction of Activity Spectra Analysis of the title compound, predicts anti-diabetic activity with probability to have an active value of 0.348.
Graphical Abstract(E)-3-Mesityl-1-(naphthalen-2-yl) prop-2-en-1-one: a crystal structure and computational studies.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13065-015-0112-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13065-015-0112-5
PMCID: PMC4477317  PMID: 26106444
Aldol product; Chalcone; X-Ray; DFT compution; PAAS
17.  Towards crystal structure prediction of complex organic compounds – a report on the fifth blind test 
Following on from the success of the previous crystal structure prediction blind tests (CSP1999, CSP2001, CSP2004 and CSP2007), a fifth such collaborative project (CSP2010) was organized at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre. A range of methodologies was used by the participating groups in order to evaluate the ability of the current computational methods to predict the crystal structures of the six organic molecules chosen as targets for this blind test. The first four targets, two rigid molecules, one semi-flexible molecule and a 1:1 salt, matched the criteria for the targets from CSP2007, while the last two targets belonged to two new challenging categories – a larger, much more flexible molecule and a hydrate with more than one polymorph. Each group submitted three predictions for each target it attempted. There was at least one successful prediction for each target, and two groups were able to successfully predict the structure of the large flexible molecule as their first place submission. The results show that while not as many groups successfully predicted the structures of the three smallest molecules as in CSP2007, there is now evidence that methodologies such as dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) are able to reliably do so. The results also highlight the many challenges posed by more complex systems and show that there are still issues to be overcome.
doi:10.1107/S0108768111042868
PMCID: PMC3222142  PMID: 22101543
18.  A new phase diagram of water under negative pressure: The rise of the lowest-density clathrate s-III 
Science Advances  2016;2(2):e1501010.
Researchers predict a new ice clathrate structure as the most stable ice polymorph with the lowest density in a negative-pressure region.
Ice and ice clathrate are not only omnipresent across polar regions of Earth or under terrestrial oceans but also ubiquitous in the solar system such as on comets, asteroids, or icy moons of the giant planets. Depending on the surrounding environment (temperature and pressure), ice alone exhibits an exceptionally rich and complicated phase diagram with 17 known crystalline polymorphs. Water molecules also form clathrate compounds with inclusion of guest molecules, such as cubic structure I (s-I), cubic structure II (s-II), hexagonal structure H (s-H), tetragonal structure T (s-T), and tetragonal structure K (s-K). Recently, guest-free clathrate structure II (s-II), also known as ice XVI located in the negative-pressure region of the phase diagram of water, is synthesized in the laboratory and motivates scientists to reexamine other ice clathrates with low density. Using extensive Monte Carlo packing algorithm and dispersion-corrected density functional theory optimization, we predict a crystalline clathrate of cubic structure III (s-III) composed of two large icosihexahedral cavities (8668412) and six small decahedral cavities (8248) per unit cell, which is dynamically stable by itself and can be fully stabilized by encapsulating an appropriate guest molecule in the large cavity. A new phase diagram of water ice with TIP4P/2005 (four-point transferable intermolecular potential/2005) model potential is constructed by considering a variety of candidate phases. The guest-free s-III clathrate with ultralow density overtakes s-II and s-H phases and emerges as the most stable ice polymorph in the pressure region below −5834 bar at 0 K and below −3411 bar at 300 K.
doi:10.1126/sciadv.1501010
PMCID: PMC4758744  PMID: 26933681
water; negative pressure; phase diagram; lowest density ice; ice clathrate s-III; molecular dynamics; icosihexahedral cavity; density-functional theory
19.  Modelling the adsorption of short alkanes in protonated chabazite: The impact of dispersion forces and temperature 
Graphical abstract
Highlights
► Alkane adsorption in chabazite is modelled using electronic structure theory. ► Finite temperature effects are estimated by molecular dynamics simulations. ► An extrapolation mechanism to finite temperature is proposed. ► Results are critically compared to experimental data.
The adsorption of alkanes in a protonated zeolite has been investigated at different levels of theory. At the lowest level we use density-functional theory (DFT) based on semi-local (gradient-corrected) functionals which account only for the interaction of the molecule with the acid site. To describe the van der Waals (vdW) interactions between the saturated molecule and the inner wall of the zeolite we use (i) semi-empirical pair interactions, (ii) calculations using a non-local correlation functional designed to include vdW interactions, and (iii) an approach based on calculations of the dynamical response function within the random-phase approximation (RPA). The effect of finite temperature on the adsorption properties has been studied by performing molecular dynamics (MD) simulations based on forces derived from DFT plus semi-empirical vdW corrections. The simulations demonstrate that even at room temperature the binding of the molecule to the acid site is frequently broken such that only the vdW interaction between the alkane and the zeolite remains. The finite temperature adsorption energy is calculated as the ensemble average over a sufficiently long molecular dynamics run, it is significantly reduced compared to the T = 0 K limit. At a higher level of theory where MD simulations would be prohibitively expensive we propose a simple scheme based on the averaging over the adsorption energies in the acid and in the purely siliceous zeolite to account for temperature effects. With these corrections we find an excellent agreement between the RPA predictions and experiment.
doi:10.1016/j.micromeso.2012.04.052
PMCID: PMC4268788  PMID: 25540604
Alkane adsorption; Molecular dynamics; Ab-initio; van der Waals interactions; Zeolites
20.  Heteroaromatic π-Stacking Energy Landscapes 
In this study we investigate π-stacking interactions of a variety of aromatic heterocycles with benzene using dispersion corrected density functional theory. We calculate extensive potential energy surfaces for parallel-displaced interaction geometries. We find that dispersion contributes significantly to the interaction energy and is complemented by a varying degree of electrostatic interactions. We identify geometric preferences and minimum interaction energies for a set of 13 5- and 6-membered aromatic heterocycles frequently encountered in small drug-like molecules. We demonstrate that the electrostatic properties of these systems are a key determinant for their orientational preferences. The results of this study can be applied in lead optimization for the improvement of stacking interactions, as it provides detailed energy landscapes for a wide range of coplanar heteroaromatic geometries. These energy landscapes can serve as a guide for ring replacement in structure-based drug design.
doi:10.1021/ci500183u
PMCID: PMC4037317  PMID: 24773380
21.  Novel enaminone derived from thieno [2,3-b] thiene: Synthesis, x-ray crystal structure, HOMO, LUMO, NBO analyses and biological activity 
Background
Due to their structural and therapeutic diversity, thienothiophene derivatives have attracted much synthetic interest because of their reactivity and biological activity. The thieno [2,3-b] thiophene moiety has been used in the design of a novel pharmaceutical therapies. Additionally, its enaminones derivatives are versatile synthons and have a lot of synthetic applications such as N-heterocycles, wide variety of naturally occurring alkaloids and pharmaceutical drugs.
Results
Synthesis of (2E,2′E)-1,1′-(3,4-diphenylthieno [2,3-b] thiophene-2,5-diyl) bis (3-(dimethylamino) prop-2-en-1-one) 5 was reported. The structure of compound 5 was deduced by spectroscopic techniques. The compound was crystallizes in the monoclinic system with space group P-1 with cell coordinates a=9.9685 (8) Å, b=10.1382 (8) Å, c=13.3220 (11) Å, α=101.018 (2) °, β=94.480 (2) °, γ=107.207 (1) °, V=1249.3 (1) Å3, and Z=2. In the crystal molecules are packed in chains formed via weak intermolecular C21–H21A… O1, C22–H22A…O2 and C27–H27A…O2 hydrogen bondings. Theoretical quantum chemical calculations have been performed on the studied compound using the DFT B3LYP/6-311G (d, p) method. The geometric parameters of the optimized structure are in good agreement with the experimental data obtained from our reported X-ray structure. The two benzene rings and the two side chains are not coplanar with the fused thiophene rings. The electronic spectra of the studied compound have been calculated using the TD-DFT method at the same level of theory. The transition bands at 352.9 nm (f=0.5549) and 332.1 nm (f=0.2190) are due to the H-1 → L (72%) and H → L + 1 (82%) excitations respectively. The NBO calculations were performed to predict the natural atomic charges at the different atomic sites and to study the different intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) interactions occurring in the studied system. It is found that the O and N-atoms have the highest negative charge densities while the S-atoms are the most electropositive. These results give idea about how our molecule could react with the receptor active sites. Compound 5 was evaluated against ant-microbial activity.
Conclusions
Synthesis, molecular structure and spectroscopic invesitgation of (2E,2′E)-1,1′-(3,4-diphenylthieno [2,3-b] thiophene-2,5-diyl) bis (3- (dimethylamino) prop-2-en-1-one) 5 was studied.
Graphical AbstractMolecular structure investigation of novel enaminone derived from thieno [2,3-b] thiene.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13065-015-0100-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13065-015-0100-9
PMCID: PMC4461800  PMID: 26064187
Enaminones; Thieno [2,3-b] thiophene; X-ray; HOMO; LUMO
22.  Novel enaminone derived from thieno [2,3-b] thiene: Synthesis, x-ray crystal structure, HOMO, LUMO, NBO analyses and biological activity 
Background
Due to their structural and therapeutic diversity, thienothiophene derivatives have attracted much synthetic interest because of their reactivity and biological activity. The thieno [2,3-b] thiophene moiety has been used in the design of a novel pharmaceutical therapies. Additionally, its enaminones derivatives are versatile synthons and have a lot of synthetic applications such as N-heterocycles, wide variety of naturally occurring alkaloids and pharmaceutical drugs.
Results
Synthesis of (2E,2′E)-1,1′-(3,4-diphenylthieno [2,3-b] thiophene-2,5-diyl) bis (3-(dimethylamino) prop-2-en-1-one) 5 was reported. The structure of compound 5 was deduced by spectroscopic techniques. The compound was crystallizes in the monoclinic system with space group P-1 with cell coordinates a=9.9685 (8) Å, b=10.1382 (8) Å, c=13.3220 (11) Å, α=101.018 (2) °, β=94.480 (2) °, γ=107.207 (1) °, V=1249.3 (1) Å3, and Z=2. In the crystal molecules are packed in chains formed via weak intermolecular C21–H21A… O1, C22–H22A…O2 and C27–H27A…O2 hydrogen bondings. Theoretical quantum chemical calculations have been performed on the studied compound using the DFT B3LYP/6-311G (d, p) method. The geometric parameters of the optimized structure are in good agreement with the experimental data obtained from our reported X-ray structure. The two benzene rings and the two side chains are not coplanar with the fused thiophene rings. The electronic spectra of the studied compound have been calculated using the TD-DFT method at the same level of theory. The transition bands at 352.9 nm (f=0.5549) and 332.1 nm (f=0.2190) are due to the H-1 → L (72%) and H → L + 1 (82%) excitations respectively. The NBO calculations were performed to predict the natural atomic charges at the different atomic sites and to study the different intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) interactions occurring in the studied system. It is found that the O and N-atoms have the highest negative charge densities while the S-atoms are the most electropositive. These results give idea about how our molecule could react with the receptor active sites. Compound 5 was evaluated against ant-microbial activity.
Conclusions
Synthesis, molecular structure and spectroscopic invesitgation of (2E,2′E)-1,1′-(3,4-diphenylthieno [2,3-b] thiophene-2,5-diyl) bis (3- (dimethylamino) prop-2-en-1-one) 5 was studied.
Graphical AbstractMolecular structure investigation of novel enaminone derived from thieno [2,3-b] thiene.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13065-015-0100-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13065-015-0100-9
PMCID: PMC4461800  PMID: 26064187
Enaminones; Thieno [2,3-b] thiophene; X-ray; HOMO; LUMO
23.  Complex Stoichiometry-Dependent Reordering of 3,4,9,10-Perylenetetracarboxylic Dianhydride on Ag(111) upon K Intercalation 
ACS Nano  2015;10(2):2365-2374.
Alkali metal atoms are frequently used for simple yet efficient n-type doping of organic semiconductors and as an ingredient of the recently discovered polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon superconductors. However, the incorporation of dopants from the gas phase into molecular crystal structures needs to be controlled and well understood in order to optimize the electronic properties (charge carrier density and mobility) of the target material. Here, we report that potassium intercalation into the pristine 3,4,9,10-perylenetetracarboxylic dianhydride (PTCDA) monolayer domains on a Ag(111) substrate induces distinct stoichiometry-dependent structural reordering processes, resulting in highly ordered and large KxPTCDA domains. The emerging structures are analyzed by low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy, scanning tunneling hydrogen microscopy (ST[H]M), and low-energy electron diffraction as a function of the stoichiometry. The analysis of the measurements is corroborated by density functional theory calculations. These turn out to be essential for a correct interpretation of the experimental ST[H]M data. The epitaxy types for all intercalated stages are determined as point-on-line. The K atoms adsorb in the vicinity of the oxygen atoms of the PTCDA molecules, and their positions are determined with sub-Ångström precision. This is a crucial prerequisite for the prospective assessment of the electronic properties of such composite films, as they depend rather sensitively on the mutual alignment between donor atoms and acceptor molecules. Our results demonstrate that only the combination of experimental and theoretical approaches allows for an unambiguous explanation of the pronounced reordering of KxPTCDA/Ag(111) upon changing the K content.
doi:10.1021/acsnano.5b07145
PMCID: PMC4768340  PMID: 26718635
potassium intercalation; self-assembled nanostructures; low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (LT-STM); scanning tunneling hydrogen microscopy (STHM); density functional theory (DFT); low-energy electron diffraction (LEED)
24.  Quantifying Water-Mediated Protein–Ligand Interactions in a Glutamate Receptor: A DFT Study 
The Journal of Physical Chemistry. B  2011;115(21):7085-7096.
It is becoming increasingly clear that careful treatment of water molecules in ligand–protein interactions is required in many cases if the correct binding pose is to be identified in molecular docking. Water can form complex bridging networks and can play a critical role in dictating the binding mode of ligands. A particularly striking example of this can be found in the ionotropic glutamate receptors. Despite possessing similar chemical moieties, crystal structures of glutamate and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA) in complex with the ligand-binding core of the GluA2 ionotropic glutamate receptor revealed, contrary to all expectation, two distinct modes of binding. The difference appears to be related to the position of water molecules within the binding pocket. However, it is unclear exactly what governs the preference for water molecules to occupy a particular site in any one binding mode. In this work we use density functional theory (DFT) calculations to investigate the interaction energies and polarization effects of the various components of the binding pocket. Our results show (i) the energetics of a key water molecule are more favorable for the site found in the glutamate-bound mode compared to the alternative site observed in the AMPA-bound mode, (ii) polarization effects are important for glutamate but less so for AMPA, (iii) ligand–system interaction energies alone can predict the correct binding mode for glutamate, but for AMPA alternative modes of binding have similar interaction energies, and (iv) the internal energy is a significant factor for AMPA but not for glutamate. We discuss the results within the broader context of rational drug-design.
doi:10.1021/jp200776t
PMCID: PMC3102440  PMID: 21545106
25.  Quantum Mechanical Calculation of Noncovalent Interactions: A Large-Scale Evaluation of PMx, DFT, and SAPT Approaches 
Quantum mechanical (QM) calculations of noncovalent interactions are uniquely useful as tools to test and improve molecular mechanics force fields and to model the forces involved in biomolecular binding and folding. Because the more computationally tractable QM methods necessarily include approximations, which risk degrading accuracy, it is essential to evaluate such methods by comparison with high-level reference calculations. Here, we use the extensive Benchmark Energy and Geometry Database (BEGDB) of CCSD(T)/CBS reference results to evaluate the accuracy and speed of widely used QM methods for over 1200 chemically varied gas-phase dimers. In particular, we study the semiempirical PM6 and PM7 methods; density functional theory (DFT) approaches B3LYP, B97-D, M062X, and ωB97X-D; and symmetry-adapted perturbation theory (SAPT) approach. For the PM6 and DFT methods, we also examine the effects of post hoc corrections for hydrogen bonding (PM6-DH+, PM6-DH2), halogen atoms (PM6-DH2X), and dispersion (DFT-D3 with zero and Becke–Johnson damping). Several orders of the SAPT expansion are also compared, ranging from SAPT0 up to SAPT2+3, where computationally feasible. We find that all DFT methods with dispersion corrections, as well as SAPT at orders above SAPT2, consistently provide dimer interaction energies within 1.0 kcal/mol RMSE across all systems. We also show that a linear scaling of the perturbative energy terms provided by the fast SAPT0 method yields similar high accuracy, at particularly low computational cost. The energies of all the dimer systems from the various QM approaches are included in the Supporting Information, as are the full SAPT2+(3) energy decomposition for a subset of over 1000 systems. The latter can be used to guide the parametrization of molecular mechanics force fields on a term-by-term basis.
doi:10.1021/ct401111c
PMCID: PMC3985464  PMID: 24803867

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