Nicolas Biot and Davide Bonifazi
Coord. Chem. Rev., 2020, accepted.
Out of the supramolecular toolbox, Secondary Bonding Interactions (SBIs) have attracted in the last decades the attention of the chemical community as novel non-covalent interactions of choice for a large number of chemical systems. Amongst all SBIs, halogen-bonding (XBIs) and chalcogen-bonding (EBIs) interactions are certainly the most important. However, the use of EBIs have received marginal consideration if compared to that of XBIs. By sieving the most significant examples, this review focuses on the theoretical and experimental studies carried out with EBIs in functional systems. In a systematic way the reader is guided through the most recent and representative examples in which chemists have rationally designed molecular modules that, through EBIs, trigger the initiation of chemical reactions, molecular recognition events in solutions and at the solid state to produce self-assembled and self-organised functional materials at different length scales. The study and understanding of the fundamental geometrical and physical parameters ruling EBIs is at its infancy, and it still needs to establish those principles to rationally design and program synthons that, undergoing molecular recognition through EBIs, allow the development of new tailored materials for applications in the field of optoelectronic, sensing, catalysis, and drug discovery.