Variations in hydrogen-bond strengths are investigated for complexes of nine parasubstituted phenols (XPhOH) with a water molecule and chloride ion. Results from ab initio HF/6-311+G(d, p) and MP2/6-311+G(d, p)//HF/6-311+G(d, p) calculations are compared with those from the OPLS-AA and OPLS/CM1A force fields. In the OPLS-AA model, the partial charges on the hydroxyl group of phenol are not affected by the choice of para substituent, while the use of CM1A charges in the OPLS/CM1A approach does provide charge redistribution. The ab initio calculations reveal a 2.0-kcal/mol range in hydrogen-bond strengths for the XPhOH... OH2 complexes in the order X = NO2 > CN > CF3 > Cl > F > H > OH > CH3 > NH2. The pattern is not well-reproduced with OPLS-AA, which also compresses the variation to 0.7 kcal/mol. However, the OPLS/CM1A results are in good accord with the ab initio findings for both the ordering and range, 2.3 kcal/mol. The hydrogen bonding is, of course, weaker with XPhOH as acceptor, the order for X is largely inverted, and the range is reduced to ca. 1.0 kcal/mol. The substituent effects are found to be much greater for the chloride ion complexes with a range of 11 kcal/mol. For quantitative treatment of such strong ion-molecule interactions the need for fully polarizable force fields is demonstrated.
Jorgensen, W. L., Kepp, K. P., & Alexandrova, A. N. (2007). Polarization effects for hydrogen-bonded complexes of substituted phenols with water and chloride ion. Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, 3(6), 1987-1992. https://doi.org/10.1021/ct7001754