Double pancake bonds: Pushing the limits of strong π-π stacking interactions

Zhong Hua Cui, Hans Lischka, Habtamu Z. Beneberu, Miklos Kertesz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The concept of a double-bonded pancake bonding mechanism is introduced to explain the extremely short π-π stacking contacts in dimers of dithiatriazines. While ordinary single pancake bonds occur between radicals and already display significantly shorter interatomic distances in comparison to van der Waals (vdW) contacts, the doublebonded pancake dimer is based on diradicaloid or antiaromatic molecules and exhibits even shorter and stronger intermolecular bonds that breach into the range of extremely stretched single bonds in terms of bond distances and binding energies. These properties give rise to promising possibilities in the design of new materials with high electrical conductivity and for the field of spintronics. The analysis of the double pancake bond is based on cutting edge electron correlation theory combining multireference (nondynamical) effects and dispersion (dynamical) contributions in a balanced way providing accurate interaction energies and distributions of unpaired spins. It is also shown that the present examples do not stand isolated but that similar mechanisms operate in several analogous nonradical molecular systems to form double-bonded π-stacking pancake dimers. We report on the amazing properties of a new type of stacking interaction mechanism between π conjugated molecules in the form of a "double pancake bond" which breaks the record for short intermolecular distances and provides formidable strength for some π-π stacking interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12958-12965
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 17 2014


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