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Model Chemistry Calculations of Thiophene Dimer Interactions:  Origin of π-Stacking

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journal contribution
posted on 20.09.2002, 00:00 by Seiji Tsuzuki, Kazumasa Honda, Reiko Azumi
The intermolecular interaction energies of thiophene dimers have been calculated by using an aromatic intermolecular interaction (AIMI) model (a model chemistry for the evaluation of intermolecular interactions between aromatic molecules). 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 and perpendicular thiophene dimers are −1.71 and −3.12 kcal/mol, respectively. The substantial attractive interaction in the thiophene 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 rather long-range interactions such as electrostatic and dispersion. The inclusion of electron correlation increases the attraction significantly. The dispersion interaction is found to be the major source of attraction in the thiophene dimer. The calculated total interaction energy of the thiophene dimer is highly orientation dependent. Although electrostatic interaction is substantially weaker than dispersion interaction, it is highly orientation dependent, and therefore electrostatic interaction play an important role in the orientation dependence of the total interaction energy. The large attractive interaction in the perpendicular dimer is the cause of the preference for the herringbone structure in the crystals of nonsubstituted oligothiophenes (α-terthienyls), and the steric repulsion between the β-substituents is the cause of the π-stacked structure in the crystals of some β-substituted oligothiophenes.

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