The design and assembly of mechanically interlocked molecules, such as catenanes and rotaxanes, are dictated by various types of noncovalent interactions. In particular, [C-H···O] hydrogen-bonding and π-π stacking interactions in these supramolecular complexes have been identified as important noncovalent interactions. With this in mind, we examined the catenane 2·4PF6 using molecular mechanics (MM3), ab initio methods (HF, MP2), several versions of density functional theory (DFT) (B3LYP, M0X), and the dispersion-corrected method DFT-D3. Symmetry adapted perturbation theory (DFT-SAPT) provides the highest level of theory considered, and we use the DFT-SAPT results both to calibrate the other electronic structure methods, and the empirical potential MM3 force field that is often used to describe larger catenane and rotaxane structures where [C- H···O] hydrogen-bonding and π-π stacking interactions play a role. Our results indicate that the MM3 calculated complexation energies agree qualitatively with the energetic ordering from DFT-SAPT calculations with an aug-cc-pVTZ basis, both for structures dominated by [C- H···O] hydrogen-bonding and π-π stacking interactions. When the DFT-SAPT energies are decomposed into components, we find that electrostatic interactions dominate the [C-H···O] hydrogen-bonding interactions, while dispersion makes a significant contribution to π-π stacking. Another important conclusion is that DFT-D3 based on M06 or M06-2X provides interaction energies that are in near-quantitative agreement with DFT-SAPT. DFT results without the D3 correction have important differences compared to DFT-SAPT, while HF and even MP2 results are in poor agreement with DFT-SAPT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry