Studies of molecular interactions using physical techniques

  • Padungkiart Polanun

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The investigations described in this thesis concern the molecular interactions between polar solute molecules and various aromatic compounds
in solution. Three different physical methods were employed. Nuclear magnetic resonance (n.m.r.) spectroscopy was used to determine the nature and strength of the interactions and the geometry of the transient complexes formed. Cryoscopic studies were used to provide information on the stoichiometry of the complexes. Dielectric constant studies were conducted in an attempt to confirm and supplement the spectroscopic investigations. The systems studied were those between nitromethane, chloroform, acetonitrile (solutes) and various
methyl substituted benzenes.
In the n.m.r. work the dependence of the solute chemical shift upon the compositions of the solutions was determined. From this the equilibrium quotients (K) for the formation of each complex and the shift induced in the solute proton by the aromatic in the complex were evaluated. The thermodynamic parameters for the interactions were obtained from the determination of K at several temperatures.
The stoichiometries of the complexes obtained from cryoscopic studies were found to agree with those deduced from spectroscopic investigations. For most systems it is suggested that only one type of complex, of 1:1 stiochiometry, predominates except that for the acetonitrile-benzene system a 1:2 complex is formed.
Two sets of dielectric studies were conducted, the first to show that the nature of the interaction is dipole-induced dipole and the second to calculate K. The equilibrium quotients obtained from spectroscopic and dielectric studies are compared. Time-averaged geometries of the complexes are proposed. The orientation of solute, with respect to the aromatic for the 1:1 complexes, appears to be the one in which the solute lies symmetrically about the aromatic six-fold axis whereas for the 1:2 complex, a sandwich structure is proposed. It is suggested that the complexes are formed through a dipole-induced dipole interaction and steric factors play some part in the complex formation.
Date of AwardMar 1974
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn Homer (Supervisor)


  • molecular interactions
  • physical techniques

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