Year of Publication


Document Type



Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Arthur Cammers-Goodwin


The effect of hydrogen bonding on the conformation of organic moleculesunifies two projects in this thesis. In one project, the stability of the intramolecularhydrogen bond in derivatives of 2-guanidinobenzimidazole was studied bydynamic 1H NMR spectrometry. The impact that this intramolecular hydrogenbond had on the bond order of the neutral guanidino group and on the dynamicconformation of these aromatic structures was related to the concept of hydrogenbond-assisted resonance. In another project, an oligomer possessing repetitiveconformation and capable of much inter- and intramolecular hydrogen bondingwas designed and synthesized. The sensitivity of this oligomer to changes inanion concentration, as well as its own propensity to self-aggregate weremeasured.Hydrogen bonds found in many biological oligomers are connected thougha system of conjugated bonds. Guanidinobenzimidazole is a conjugated systemof carbon and nitrogen, connected by an intramolecular hydrogen bond. Severalderivatives of guanidinobenzimidazole were synthesized, and the effect ofseveral simple alkyl for hydrogen substitutions were studied.Guanidinobenzimidazole was used as a model to study what effect theconjugation and the intramolecular hydrogen bond have on each other.The formation of redundant low energy hydrogen bonds is universal inbiological oligomers. In DNA and RNA multiple hydrogen bonds are formed witha typical energy contribution of only 1-2 kcal/mol. Individually, these interactionsdo not give the biological oligomers their conformational stability, but togetherthey are very stable. The urea and amide based oligomers designed in the workand discussed in the thesis should form multiple hydrogen bonds withthemselves and/or with anionic guests. Chiral oligoureas were designed topossess this characteristic of cooperative conformation that so many biologicaloligomers and polymers share.