In an effort to study role/effect of non-covalent interactions in anion binding, the cobalt(III) complex salts, [Co(phen)3](SCN)3 . 2H2O (1), and [Co(phen)2CO3](SCN).3H2O (2) were synthesized by reacting appropriate reactants in aqueous medium and characterized by UV/Visible, IR, NMR, conductance and solubility product measurements. The molecular structure of complex salt 1 and 2 were determined by single crystal X-ray crystallography which revealed the presence of discrete ions and lattice water molecules in the solid state. A strong network of hydrogen bond interactions through the weak second sphere interactions (C–H. . .O), strong interactions of type O–H. . .O (water), and pi. . .pi stacking interaction besides the electrostatic interactions play a very important role in stabilization of crystal lattice. The solubility product measurements, X-ray structure analysis and formation of these salts of definite composition suggest that cationic cobalt(III) complexes, [Co(phen)3]3+ and [Co(phen)2CO3]+ are promising anion receptors for the thiocyanate ion and presence of hydrogen bond acceptor/hydrogen bond donor groups increase the magnitude of non-covalent (hydrogen bond) interactions.
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