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J Am Chem Soc. 2002 Jan 9;124(1):104-12.

Origin of attraction and directionality of the pi/pi interaction: model chemistry calculations of benzene dimer interaction.

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  • 1National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568, Japan.


A model chemistry for the evaluation of intermolecular interaction between aromatic molecules (AIMI Model) has been developed. The CCSD(T) interaction energy at the basis set limit has been estimated from the MP2 interaction energy near the basis set limit and the CCSD(T) correction term obtained by using a medium size basis set. The calculated interaction energies of the parallel, T-shaped,and slipped-parallel benzene dimers are -1.48, -2.46, and -2.48 kcal/mol, respectively. The substantial attractive interaction in benzene dimer, even where the molecules are well separated, shows that the major source of attraction is not short-range interactions such as charge-transfer but long-range interactions such as electrostatic and dispersion. The inclusion of electron correlation increases attraction significantly. The dispersion interaction is found to be the major source of attraction in the benzene dimer. The orientation dependence of the dimer interaction is mainly controlled by long-range interactions. Although electrostatic interaction is considerably weaker than dispersion interaction, it is highly orientation dependent. Dispersion and electrostatic interactions are both important for the directionality of the benzene dimer interaction.

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