Thiols as Hydrogen Bond Acceptors and Donors: Spectroscopy of 2-Phenylethanethiol Complexes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Evidence and understanding of sulfur-centered hydrogen bonding, especially where the donor is a thiol, lags far behind that for conventional OH interactions. To help address this deficiency, conformer specific IR spectra of 2-phenylethanethiol (PET) and associated 1:1 solvent complexes have been measured in SH, OH, and CH stretch regions using resonant-two-photon-ionization (R2PI) and IR-UV ion dip spectroscopic techniques. The aromatic and aliphatic CH stretch regions show signature differences between anti and gauche conformers. Supported by ab initio calculations, a PET-water cluster with an OH···S arrangement and a PET-diethyl ether cluster expressing an SH···O interaction were identified. The SH stretch band of the SH···O complex is red-shifted and undergoes significant intensity enhancement compared to the bare molecule, which is characteristic of hydrogen bonding. These findings offer insight into the nature of the thiol functional group as a potential hydrogen bond donor and acceptor.

publication date

  • 2018