This DFG priority program aims at a thorough understanding and quantification of London dispersion interactions in molecular systems.
Dispersion is the driving force for molecular aggregation that plays a key role in the thermodynamic stability, molecular recognition, chemical selectivity through transition-state stabilization, protein folding, enzyme catalysis etc.. While dispersion interactions help rationalize many common phenonema such as well-established π-π interactions, the related σ-π systems have been examined much less and the concept of σ-σ attraction is in its infancy. A primary goal of this program is the development of chemical design principles that utilizes dispersion interactions in the construction of novel molecular structures and chemical reactions. This can only be achieved through a tight interplay between synthesis, spectroscopy, and theory to quantitatively determine dispersion interactions in chemical (model) systems.
Subproject of the professorship Coordination Chemistry in cooperation with Prof. Dr. A. Auer (MPI for Chemical Energyconversion)
Heavy main group elements as dispersion energy donors - experimental and theoretical studies of bismuth compounds with bismuth-pi-interactions as structure determining component
In the project we combine experimental (e.g. synthetic) work with quantum chemical studies in order to assess heavy main group elements as dispersion energy donors. While in recent years the concept of dispersion interaction in molecular and supramolecular chemistry has been extensively described as an important element of structure formation in organic compounds, heavy main group element atoms exhibit all features that make them potent dispersion energy donors. An appealing feature of these systems is that often weak dispersion interactions compete or interplay with donor-acceptor-interaction, such that a broad variety of interaction motifs are accessible which have not been investigated in detail.
While first steps in rationalizing the major influences in dispersion interactions in coordination compounds of heavy main group elements have been taken, this study aims at a detailed and systematic understanding of the interplay of different interaction mechanisms in this interesting class of compounds.