Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Intermolecular interactions in molecular crystals: what’s in a name?

Author affiliations


Structure–property relationships are the key to modern crystal engineering, and for molecular crystals this requires both a thorough understanding of intermolecular interactions, and the subsequent use of this to create solids with desired properties. There has been a rapid increase in publications aimed at furthering this understanding, especially the importance of non-canonical interactions such as halogen, chalcogen, pnicogen, and tetrel bonds. Here we show how all of these interactions – and hydrogen bonds – can be readily understood through their common origin in the redistribution of electron density that results from chemical bonding. This redistribution is directly linked to the molecular electrostatic potential, to qualitative concepts such as electrostatic complementarity, and to the calculation of quantitative intermolecular interaction energies. Visualization of these energies, along with their electrostatic and dispersion components, sheds light on the architecture of molecular crystals, in turn providing a link to actual crystal properties.

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 20 Feb 2017, accepted on 08 Mar 2017 and first published on 08 Mar 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7FD00072C
Citation: Faraday Discuss., 2017, Advance Article
  •   Request permissions

    Intermolecular interactions in molecular crystals: what’s in a name?

    A. J. Edwards, C. F. Mackenzie, P. R. Spackman, D. Jayatilaka and M. A. Spackman, Faraday Discuss., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7FD00072C

Search articles by author