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American Chemical Society

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Journal of Physical Chemistry A

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Noncovalent interactions play an important role in many chemical and biochemical processes. Building upon our recent study of the homoclusters of chlorobenzene, where π–π stacking and CH/π interactions were identified as the most important binding motifs, in this work we present a study of bromobenzene (PhBr) and mixed bromobenzene–benzene clusters. Electronic spectra in the region of the PhBr monomer S0–S1 (ππ*) transition were obtained using resonant two-photon ionization (R2PI) methods combined with time-of-flight mass analysis. As previously found for related systems, the PhBr cluster spectra show a broad feature whose center is red-shifted from the monomer absorption, and electronic structure calculations indicate the presence of multiple isomers and Franck–Condon activity in low-frequency intermolecular modes. Calculations at the M06-2X/aug-cc-pVDZ level find in total eight minimum energy structures for the PhBr dimer: four π-stacked structures differing in the relative orientation of the Br atoms (denoted D1–D4), one T-shaped structure (D5), and three halogen bonded structures (D6–D8). The calculated binding energies of these complexes, corrected for basis set superposition error (BSSE) and zero-point energy (ZPE), are in the range of −6 to −24 kJ/mol. Time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) calculations predict that these isomers absorb over a range that is roughly consistent with the breadth of the experimental spectrum. To examine the influence of dipole–dipole interaction, R2PI spectra were also obtained for the mixed PhBr···benzene dimer, where the spectral congestion is reduced and clear vibrational structure is observed. This structure is well-simulated by Franck–Condon calculations that incorporate the lowest frequency intermolecular modes. Calculations find four minimum energy structures for the mixed dimer and predict that the binding energy of the global minimum is reduced by 30% relative to the global minimum PhBr dimer structure.


Accepted version. Journal of Physical Chemistry A, Vol. 117, No. 50 (August 26th, 2013): 13556–13563. DOI. © 2013 American Chemical Society Publications. Used with permission.

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