An attractive intermolecular interaction between an aliphatic C-H bond and a π-electron system (C-H/π interaction) was characterized on the basis of infrared spectroscopy and high level ab initio calculations. Infrared spectroscopy was applied to several isolated methane clusters with benzene, toluene, p-xylene, mesitylene, and naphthalene in the gas phase, and the spectral changes of the C-H stretch bands in the methane moiety upon the cluster formation were observed. In the theoretical approach, interaction energies of the clusters were evaluated by high-level ab initio calculations. The forbidden symmetric C-H stretch transition weakly appeared in the IR spectra of the clusters, and it confirmed the small deformation of the methane moiety from the Td symmetry, which was predicted by the ab initio calculations. On the other hand, the degenerated asymmetric C-H stretch band showed complicated splitting, which is qualitatively interpreted by a hindered rotor model. Low-frequency shifts upon the cluster formation were seen in the symmetric C-H stretch frequency, though the magnitude of the shifts was extremely small and no clear correlation with the interaction energy was found. On the other hand, the size of the calculated interaction energy well correlates with the polarizability of aromatics. The S1-S0 electronic transition of the aromatic moiety was also observed, and it showed low-frequency shifts upon cluster formation. These results support the dominance of the dispersion interaction over the electrostatic and charge-transfer terms in the aliphatic C-H/π interaction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry