The Nature of S-N Bonding in Sulfonamides and Related Compounds: Insights into π-Bonding Contributions from Sulfur K-Edge XAS

10 November 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Molecules containing sulfur-nitrogen bonds, like sulfonamides, have long been of interest due to their many uses and chemical properties. Understanding the factors that cause sulfonamide reactivity is important, yet their continues to be controversy regarding the relevance of S-N π bonding in describing these species. In this paper, we use sulfur K-edge x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) in conjunction with density functional theory (DFT) to explore the role of S3p contributions to π-bonding in sulfonamides, sulfinamides and sulfenamides. We explore the nature of electron distribution of the sulfur atom and its nearest neighbors and extend the scope to explore the effects on rotational barriers along the sulfur-nitrogen axis. The experimental XAS data together with TD-DFT calculations confirm that sulfonamides, and the other sulfinated amides in this series, have essentially no S-N π bonding involving S3p contributions and that electron repulsion and is the dominant force that affect rotational barriers.


X-ray absorption spectroscopy
Electronic Structure
sulfonamide compounds
sulfenamide compounds
sulfinamide compounds

Supplementary materials



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