A survey of tellurium-centered secondary-bonding supramolecular synthons

Anthony F. Cozzolino, Philip J.W. Elder, Ignacio Vargas-Baca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


The crystal structures of tellurium compounds frequently display intermolecular contacts between the chalcogen and atoms possessing lone pairs of electrons. Analysis of the data deposited in the Cambridge crystallographic database shows that the shortest secondary bonding interactions (SBIs) are formed when oxygen, nitrogen or chlorine are the donor atoms for SBIs. In addition, these SBIs are shortest when they occur opposite to a bond between tellurium and oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine, chlorine or the nitrile functional group. The structural motifs assembled in these systems fall within eight general categories, from single to multiple bonded supramolecular synthons. The use of multiple points of attachment between molecules leads, in principle, to stronger and more directional supramolecular synthons. The overall structures assembled by the most important tellurium-based supramolecular synthons and prospects for their application in crystal engineering are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1438
Number of pages13
JournalCoordination Chemistry Reviews
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Intermolecular interactions
  • Organochalcogen chemistry
  • Secondary bonding
  • Self-assembly
  • Supramolecular chemistry
  • Tellurium


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