June Sutor and the C-H…O hydrogen bonding controversy

Carl H. Schwalbe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 1962, D. June Sutor published the first crystallographic analysis of C–H…O hydrogen bonding based on a selection of structures then known. Her follow-up paper the next year cited more structures and provided more details, but her ideas met with formidable opposition. This review begins by describing knowledge of C-H…O hydrogen bonding available at the time from physico-chemical and spectroscopic studies. By comparison of structures cited by Sutor with modern redeterminations, the soundness of her basic data set is assessed. The plausibility of the counter-arguments against her is evaluated. Finally, her biographical details are presented along with consideration of factors that might have impeded the acceptance of her work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-204
Number of pages16
JournalCrystallography Reviews
Issue number3
Early online date23 Apr 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • C-H⋅⋅⋅O hydrogen bonding
  • controversy
  • D. June Sutor
  • structural systematics


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