Noncovalent Interactions and Impact of Charge Penetration Effects in Linear Oligoacene Dimers and Single Crystals

Sean M. Ryno, Chad Risko, Jean Luc Brédas

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35 Scopus citations


Noncovalent interactions determine in large part the thermodynamic aspects of molecular packing in organic crystals. Using a combination of symmetry-adapted perturbation theory (SAPT) and classical multipole electrostatics, we describe the interaction potential energy surfaces for dimers of the oligoacene family, from benzene to hexacene, including up to 5000 configurations for each system. An analysis of these surfaces and a thorough assessment of dimers extracted from the reported crystal structures underline that high-order interactions (i.e., three-body nonadditive interactions) must be considered in order to rationalize the details of the crystal structures. A comparison of the SAPT electrostatic energy with the multipole interaction energy demonstrates the importance of the contribution of charge penetration, which is shown to account for up to 50% of the total interaction energy in dimers extracted from the experimental single crystals; in the case of the most stable cofacial model dimers, this contribution is even larger than the total interaction energy. Our results highlight the importance of taking account of charge penetration in studies of the larger oligoacenes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3990-4000
Number of pages11
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 14 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the KAUST Competitive Research Grant program, and the Office of Naval Research Global (Award N62909-15-1-2003).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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