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1.  Electrostatic and aspheric influence of the fluoro-substitution of 4-bromodiphenyl ether (PBDE 3) 
Accurate structure determinations by X-ray crystal analysis and computation using semi-empirical self-consistent field molecular orbital calculations are described and compared for 4-bromodiphenyl ether (PBDE 3), the 13C6-isotopic labeled PBDE 3 (13C6-PBDE 3) and its five corresponding monofluorinated analogues (F-PBDEs 3): 2-fluoro-4-bromodiphenyl ether (F-PBDE 3-2F), 2′-fluoro-4-bromodiphenyl ether (F-PBDE 3-2′F), 3-fluoro-4-bromodiphenyl ether (F-PBDE 3-3F), 3′-fluoro-4-bromodiphenyl ether (F-PBDE 3-3′F) and 4′-fluoro-4-bromodiphenyl ether (F-PBDE 3-4′F). The synthesis and full characterization by means of 1H, 13C, 19F nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry of the F-PBDEs 3 are presented for the first time. Intermolecular interactions for PBDE 3 and the F-PBDEs 3 isomers were dominated by weak C-H(F,Br) ····π and C-H····F interactions. The bond lengths of C-F varied between 1.347(2) Å and 1.362(2) Å, C4-Br between 1.880(3) Å and 1.904(19) Å. Both correlated with electron-density differences as determined by 13C shifts, but not with the strength of C-F couplings. The interior ring angles at ipso-fluoro-substitution increased to 121.95° due to hyperconjugation by p-π-orbital overlapping, a phenomenon that was also computed. An attraction between the vicinal fluoro-and bromo-substituents was not determined, as seen in fluoro-substituted chlorobiphenyls. The torsion angles measured and computed for the series of PBDE 3 and F-PBDEs 3 differed strongly from each other. Since the ether linkage (an average of 2.76 Å) provides more distance and the bonds are flexible up to a certain range, the influence of a fluoro-substituent is only detectable in PBDEs with high ortho-substitution. A concordance of computed and measured torsion angles can be observed with increasing size and/or grade of substitution comparing mono- to tetra- fluoro-, chloro-, bromo- and methyl-substitutions in the ortho-positions of diphenyl ether. Differences between computational versus measured data demonstrates a strong need to evaluate the results against independent techniques to conclude structure receptor activity relationships of PBDEs. Any discussion of the Ah or other biological receptor activity of certain PBDEs should take this in consideration. For the first time a complete overview of known and hypothetical biological activities of PBDEs is presented.
PMCID: PMC3120100  PMID: 18204217

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