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Stress Tensor Eigenvector Following with Next-Generation Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules: Excited State Photochemical Reaction Path from Benzene to Benzvalene

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  • Thomas Malcomson
  • Alireza Azizi
  • Roya Momen
  • Tianlv Xu
  • Steven R. Kirk
  • Martin J. Paterson
  • Samantha Jenkins
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>26/09/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number38
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)8254-8264
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date5/09/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this investigation, we considered both the scalar and 3-D vector-based measures of bonding using next generation quantum theory of atoms in molecules (QTAIM), constructed from the preferred direction of electronic charge density accumulation, to better understand the photochemical reaction associated with of the formation of benzvalene from benzene. The formation of benzvalene from benzene resulted in two additional C–C bonds forming compared with the benzene. The creation of the additional C–C bonds was explained in terms of an increasing the favorability of the reaction process by maximizing the bonding density. The topological instability of the benzvalene structure was determined using the scalar and vector-based measures to explain the short chemical half-life of benzvalene in terms of the competition between the formation of unstable new C–C bonding that also destabilizes nearest neighbor C–C bonds. The explosive character of benzvalene is indicated by the unusual tendency of the C–C bonds to rupture as easily as weak bonding. The topological instability of the short strong C–C bonds was explained by the existence of measures from conventional and next generation QTAIM that previously have only been observed in weak interactions; such measures included twisted 3-D bonding descriptors.