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Theoretical Study of the Solvent Effect on the properties of Indole‑Cation‑Anion Complexes
* 1 , 1 , 2
1  Departamento de Química Física, Facultade de Ciencias, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Campus de Lugo. Avenida Alfonso X El Sabio s/n, Lugo 27002, SPAIN.
2  Centro Singular de Investigación en Química Biológica e Materiais Moleculares (CIQUS), Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Rúa Jenaro de la Fuente s/n, Santiago de Compostela 15782, SPAIN.

Abstract: The properties of ternary indole-cation-anion (IMX) complexes are theoretically studied as simplified models of real systems in which some of the fragments used are parts of bigger and complicated structures, like proteins. The electro-neutrality of real systems and the presence of ions of both charges interacting simultaneously with aromatic residues in the proteins modeled justify the move from cation-π or anion-π (non-bonding interactions analyzed by our group in previous studies) to cation-π-anion complexes. With the intention of approaching more the model to reality, the solvent was also included in the study: aqueous solvent was represented by a combination of PCM + explicit addition of one water molecule to some IMX complexes. As model systems for this study the complexes with indole and the following cations and anions were selected: M = Na+, NH4+; X = HCOO–, NO3– or Cl–. The effect of the solvent was studied not only on the energy but as well on some structural parameters like the proton transfer from the ammonium cation to the basic anion and the cation-anion separation. The results indicate that the PCM method alone properly reproduces the main energetic and geometrical changes, even at quantitative level, but the explicit hydration allows refining the solvent effect and detecting cases that do not follow the general trend.
Keywords: Solvent effect; cation-π-anion interaction; PCM