The classical dynamics of weakly bound floppy van der Waals complexes have been extensively studied in the past except for the weakest of all, i.e., those involving He atoms. These complexes are of considerable current interest in light of recent experimental work focussed on the study of molecules trapped in small droplets of the quantum solvent 4He. Despite a number of quantum investigations, details on the dynamics of how quantum solvation occurs remain unclear. In this paper, the classical rotational dynamics of a series of van der Waals complexes, HX–4He with X = F, Cl, Br, CN, are studied. In all cases, the ground state dynamics are found to be almost entirely chaotic, in sharp contrast to other floppy complexes, such as HCl–Ar, for which chaos sets in only at relatively high energies. The consequences of this result for quantum solvation are discussed. We also investigate rotationally excited states with J = 1 which, except for HCN–4He, are actually resonances that decay by rotational pre-dissociation.
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