Kekulene: Structure, stability and nature of H•••H interactions in large PAHs

J. Poater*, J. Paauwe, S. Pan, G. Merino, C. Fonseca Guerra, F. M. Bickelhaupt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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We have quantum chemically analyzed how the stability of small and larger polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is determined by characteristic patterns in their structure using density functional theory at the BLYP/TZ2P level. In particular, we focus on the effect of the nonbonded H•••H interactions that occur in the bay region of kinked (or armchair) PAHs, but not in straight (or zigzag) PAHs. Model systems comprise anthracene, phenanthrene, and kekulene as well as derivatives thereof. Our main goals are: (1) to explore how nonbonded H•••H interactions in armchair configurations of kinked PAHs affect the geometry and stability of PAHs and how their effect changes as the number of such interactions in a PAH increases; (2) to understand the extent of stabilization upon the substitution of a bay C[sbnd]H fragment by either C or N; and (3) to examine the origin of such stabilizing/destabilizing interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Astrophysics
Early online date26 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


We thank the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) for financial support through the Dutch Astrochemistry Network (DAN) and the Spanish MINECO (project CTQ2016-77558-R). The work in Mexico was funded by Conacyt (Grant CB-2015-252356).

FundersFunder number
Dutch Astrochemistry Network
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y TecnologíaCB-2015-252356
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Ministerio de Economía y CompetitividadCTQ2016-77558-R


    • DFT calculations
    • Energy decomposition analysis (EDA)
    • H stripping
    • H•••H interaction
    • Kekulene
    • N[sbnd]heterocycles
    • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)


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