In the last 20 years, a huge volume of experimental work into halogen bonding (XB) has been produced. Most of the systems have been characterized by solid state X-ray crystallography, whereas in solution the only routine technique is titration (by using 1
H and 19
F nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infrared (IR), ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis) or Raman spectroscopies, depending on the nature of the system), with the aim of characterizing the strength of the XB interaction. Unfortunately, titration techniques have many intrinsic limitations and they should be coupled with other, more sophisticated techniques to provide an accurate and detailed description of the geometry and stoichiometry of the XB adduct in solution. This review will show how crucial information about XB adducts can be obtained by advanced NMR techniques, nuclear Overhauser effect-based spectroscopies (NOESY, ROESY, HOESY…) and diffusion NMR techniques (PGSE or DOSY).
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