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Vol. 33 No. 5
September-October 2011

Making an imPACt | Recent IUPAC technical reports and recommendations that affect the many fields of pure and applied chemistry.
See also www.iupac.org/publications/pac

Defining the Hydrogen Bond: An Account (IUPAC Technical Report)
Elangannan Arunan, et al.
Pure and Applied Chemistry, 2011
Vol. 83, No. 8, pp. 1619–1636

and

Definition of the Hydrogen Bond (IUPAC Recommendations 2011)
Ibid, Vol. 83, No. 8, pp. 1637–1641

The term “hydrogen bond” has been used in the literature for nearly a century now. While its importance has been realized by physicists, chemists, biologists, and material scientists, there has been a continual debate about what this term means. This debate has intensified following some important experimental results, especially in the last decade, which questioned the basis of the traditional view on hydrogen bonding. Most important among them are the direct experimental evidence for a partial covalent nature and the observation of a blue-shift in stretching frequency following X–H•••Y hydrogen bond formation (XH being the hydrogen bond donor and Y being the hydrogen bond acceptor). Considering the recent experimental and theoretical advances, a novel definition for the hydrogen bond is recommended that takes into account the theoretical and experimental knowledge acquired over the past century. This definition insists on some evidence. Six criteria are listed that could be used as evidence for the presence of a hydrogen bond.
The Technical Report and Recommendations are published back to back in PAC, providing both a detailed account and a straightforward definition.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1351/PAC-REP-10-01-01
http://dx.doi.org/10.1351/PAC-REC-10-01-02


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