Halogen bond in separation science: A critical analysis across experimental and theoretical results

J Chromatogr A. 2020 Apr 12;1616:460788. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2019.460788. Epub 2019 Dec 12.


The halogen bond (XB) is a noncovalent interaction involving a halogen acting as electrophile and a Lewis base. In the last decades XB has found practical application in several fields. Nevertheless, despite the pivotal role of noncovalent interactions in separation science, investigations of XB in this field are still in their infancy, and so far a limited number of studies focusing on solid phase extraction, liquid-liquid microextraction, liquid-phase chromatography, and gas chromatography separation have been published. In addition, in the last few years, our groups have been systematically studying the potentiality of XB for HPLC enantioseparations. On this basis, in the present paper up-to-date results emerging from focused experiments and theoretical analyses performed by our laboratories are integrated with a descriptive presentation of XB features and the few studies published until now in separation science. Then, the aim of this article is to provide a comprehensive and critical discussion of the topic, and account for some still open issues in the application of XB to separate chemical mixtures.

Keywords: Chromatography; Enantioseparation; Halogen bond; Molecular modelling; Separation science.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Halogens / chemistry*
  • Liquid Phase Microextraction
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Molecular Imprinting
  • Static Electricity
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Halogens