Polycyclic benzenoids: why kinked is more stable than straight

J. Poater, R.G.F. Visser, M. Sola, F.M. Bickelhaupt

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


(Chemical Equation Presented) The enhanced stability of bent or kinked polycyclic benzenoids over linear ones is well established, phenanthrene and anthracene being archetypal representatives. The question why kinked is more stable than linear is, however, still a matter of discussion. Recently, it has been proposed that H-H bonding interactions between the two hydrogen atoms in the bay region of phenanthrene are responsible for the larger stability of this molecule as compared to anthracene. This conclusion conflicts with the vast body of evidence for nonbonded steric repulsion between these hydrogen atoms. In this work, we provide new, complementary evidence for the repulsive character of the H-H interactions in phenanthrene's bay region. We have traced the origin of phenanthrene's enhanced stability to the more efficient bonding in the π-electron system using, among others, a quantitative energy decomposition analysis of the bonding between the two constituting 2-methtriyl-phenyl fragments in both phenanthrene and anthracene (i.e., C
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-42
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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