Electrostatic and Non-covalent Interactions in Dicationic Imidazolium-Sulfonium Salts with Mixed Anions
A series of thioether-functionalised imidazolium salts have been prepared and characterized. Subsequent reaction of the thioether-functionalised imidazolium salts with iodomethane affords imidazolium-sulfonium salts composed of doubly charged cations and two different anions. Imidazolium-sulfonium salts containing a single anion type are obtained either by a solvent extraction method or by anion exchange. The imidazolium-sulfonium salts undergo a methyl-transfer reaction on exposure to water, giving rise to a new, singly charged imidazolium salt with iodide introduced at the 2-position of the imidazolium ring. Crystal structures of some of the imidazolium-sulfonium salts were determined by X-ray crystallography providing the topology of the interactions between the dications and the anions. Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and quantum-chemical calculations were used to rationalise the relative strength of these interactions.