Strength of π-Stacking, from Neutral to Cation: Precision Measurement of Binding Energies in an Isolated π-Stacked Dimer
American Chemical Society
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
π-Stacking interactions are ubiquitious across chemistry and biochemistry, impacting areas from organic materials and photovoltaics to biochemistry and DNA. However, experimental data is lacking regarding the strength of π-stacking forces—an issue not settled even for the simplest model system, the isolated benzene dimer. Here, we use two-color appearance potential measurements to determine the binding energies of the isolated, π-stacked dimer of fluorene (C13H10) in ground, excited, and ionic states. Our measurements provide the first precise values for π-stacking interaction energies in these states, which are key benchmarks for theory. Indeed, theoretical predictions using ab initio and carefully benchmarked DFT methods are in excellent agreement with experiment.