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Article Dans Une Revue Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics Année : 2024

Probing intramolecular interactions using molecular electrostatic potentials: changing electron density contours to unveil both attractive and repulsive interactions

Résumé

We focus on intramolecular interactions, using the electrostatic potential plotted on iso-density surfaces to lead the way. We show that plotting the electrostatic potential on varying iso-density envelopes much closer to the nuclei than the commonly-used 0.001 a. u. contour can reveal the driving forces for such interactions, whether they be stabilizing or destabilizing. Our approach involves optimizing the structures of molecules exhibiting intramolecular interactions and then finding the contour of the electronic density which allows the interacting atoms to be separated; we call this the nearly-touching contour. The electrostatic potential allows then to identify the intramolecular interactions as either attractive or repulsive. The discussed 1,5- and 1,6- intramolecular interactions in o-bromophenol and o-nitrophenol are attractive, while the interactions between terminal methyl hydrogens in diethyl disulfides (as shown recently) and those between the closest hydrogens in planar biphenyl and phenanthrene are clearly repulsive in nature. For the attractive 1,4-interactions in trinitromethane and chlorotrinitromethane, and the 1,3-S---N and Si---O interactions in the ClH2Si(CH2)nNH2 series, the lack of (3,-1) bond critical points was often cited as reason to not identify the 1,3-Si---N interactions as attractive in nature. Here, by looking at the nearly-touching contours we see that bond critical points are neither necessary nor sufficient for attractive interactions, as others have pointed out, and in some instances also pointing to repulsive interactions, as the examples of planar biphenyl and phenanthrene discussed in this work show
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hal-04575678 , version 1 (15-05-2024)

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Goedele Roos, Jane S. Murray. Probing intramolecular interactions using molecular electrostatic potentials: changing electron density contours to unveil both attractive and repulsive interactions. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2024, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 26 (9), pp.7592-7601. ⟨10.1039/d3cp06005e⟩. ⟨hal-04575678⟩

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