The ambident reactivity of small-sized XAHs (X=H, F, Cl, Br, CH3, and A=S, Se, Te) molecules towards the imidazole molecule (IMZ) has been investigated using wave function (MP2) and Density Functional Theory (B3LYP, B3LYP-D3). Molecular electrostatic potentials (MEPs) and frontier molecular orbitals of monomers are computed to rationalise the regioselectivity of IMZ towards XAHs. The chemical bonding of each complex is described in the framework of the quantum theory of atoms in molecules (QTAIM) and natural bond orbital (NBO) paradigms. The symmetry-adapted perturbation theory (SAPT) is employed to assess the physical nature of the interactions. Our findings suggest that XAHs mainly bind to IMZ through H-bonding and chalcogen-bonding interactions of weak to moderate strength, with binding energies ranging from −3.1 to −17.6 kcal/mol at the MP2/aug-cc-pVDZ(-PP) level. Topological QTAIM descriptors reveal all H-bonds between IMZ and XAHs to be purely noncovalent contacts, while chalcogen bonds of halogenated XAHs (X = F, Cl, Br) show a partial covalent character. SAPT2 calculations indicate that both H-bonded and chalcogen-bonded complexes are mainly stabilised by electrostatic interactions. Insights drawn from this study are expected to constitute the bedrock for further investigations about noncovalent interaction between middle to big-sized chalcogen-containing molecules and imidazole derivatives.
- Non-classical H-bond
- chalcogen bond