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Effect of Conjugation on Electron Distributions. Separation of σ and π Terms

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journal contribution
posted on 04.02.2016, 00:00 by Kenneth B. Wiberg, Michael J. Frisch
The ground states of unsaturated molecules with Cs symmetry have separate σ and π molecular orbitals. This makes it possible to separately calculate the σ and π Hirshfeld populations and to analyze the effect of structural changes in more detail. A number of types of compounds have been studied: vinyl derivatives, 1-substituted hexatrienes, phenyl derivatives, and six-membered ring heterocycles. The results are shown as plots of changes in population vs atoms. The σ and π components vary widely, depending on π conjugation, σ inductive effects, and σ/π polarization. When an electron withdrawing group is attached to an alkene carbon, significant σ density is transferred to it, and to compensate π density is transferred to the substituent. Such interactions are similar to those found when a carbonyl or other ligands are attached to a metal.