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Avoiding problems with hydrogen misplacement in reporting crystal structures

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Intermolecular hydrogen bonding is an integral part of many crystal structures. Hydrogen bonding sometimes results in one‐, two‐ or three‐dimensional supramolecular assemblies, a common feature of which is positional disorder of H atoms related to space‐group symmetry. Yet some reported structures fail to include all possible donor–acceptor close contacts, or to seek H‐atom electron densities associated with apparent D—H...A trios, while some H‐atom positions violate principles of chemistry or crystal physics. Modern diffraction equipment and sophisticated computing systems provide high‐quality data; thus, failure to characterize and report fully an accurate, complete and physically correct hydrogen‐bonding model should not be acceptable. We illustrate the relevant issues with three published examples in the hope of slowing the proliferation of these problems, with the scientifically desirable goal of improving the accuracy of crystallographic models while also providing improved search keys for information retrieval.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 15, 2013

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