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Issue 44, 2018
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Pairing-up viologen cations and dications: a microscopic investigation of van der Waals interactions

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Abstract

The microscopic origin of van der Waals- and magnetic-interactions in 4,4′ methyl viologen cation-based units (MV+˙ and MV2+) was inspected using wave function (variational DDCI and perturbative MP2, CASPT2) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The analysis deepens the comprehension of the magnetic behavior of experimental bis-viologen cyclophanes ([CYC]2(+˙)), in which the MV+˙ units are connected through alkyl linkers of different lengths. The formation of the so-called long-multicenter bonds in such radical dimers, responsible for the quenching of the magnetic response, was analyzed in [MV2]2(+˙). Dynamical correlation effects, accessible from second-order perturbation corrections, were decisive in observing a bonding regime characterized by an equilibrium distance of 3.3 Å and a 45 kJ mol−1 dissociation energy. At larger intermolecular distances, our calculations on [MV2]2(+˙) indicate that the singlet and triplet states are energetically competing (i.e. weak exchange interactions, JAB). Despite the absence of any clear bonding regime at the MP2 level, the puzzling association of two di-cations into [MV2]4+ is anticipated at 3.3 Å using weakly screened point charges (ε = 1.5) to account for the Coulomb interactions between the solvated subunits. The main conclusion is that both dispersion interactions and environment effects are required to overcome the Coulomb repulsion associated with doubly-charged species. All these data provide some complementary insights into the nature and amplitude of interactions between cation and dication units, and their relevance in various experimental manifestations.

Graphical abstract: Pairing-up viologen cations and dications: a microscopic investigation of van der Waals interactions

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Jul 2018, accepted on 23 Oct 2018 and first published on 31 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8CP04543G
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018,20, 27878-27884
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    Pairing-up viologen cations and dications: a microscopic investigation of van der Waals interactions

    C. Gourlaouen, S. Vela, S. Choua, M. Berville, J. A. Wytko, J. Weiss and V. Robert, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, 20, 27878
    DOI: 10.1039/C8CP04543G

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