Insights into molecular cluster materials with adamantane-like core structures by considering dimer interactions
A class of adamantane-like molecular materials attracts attention because they exhibit an extreme non-linear optical response and emit a broad white-light spectrum after illumination with a continuous-wave infrared laser source. According to recent studies, not only the nature of the cluster molecules, but also the macroscopic structure of the ... materials determines their non-linear optical properties. Here we present a systematic study of cluster dimers of the compounds AdR4 and [(RT)4S6] (T = Si, Ge, Sn) with R = methyl, phenyl or 1-naphthyl to gain fundamental knowledge about the interactions in the materials. For all compounds, a similar type of dimer structures with a staggered arrangement of substituents was determined as the energetically most favorable configuration. The binding energy between the dimers, determined by including London dispersion interactions, increases with the size of the core and the substituents. The cluster interactions can be classified as substituent-substituent-dominated (small cores, large substituents) or core–core-dominated (large cores, small substituents). Among various possible dimer conformers, those with small core–core distances are energetically preferred. Trimer and tetramer clusters display similar trends regarding the minimal core–core distances and binding energies. The much lower energy barrier determined for the rotation of substituents as compared to the rotation of the cluster dimers past each other indicates that the rotation of substituents more easily leads to different conformers in the material. Thus, understanding the interaction of the cluster dimers allows an initial assessment of the interactions in the materials.
Original publication in
Journal of computational chemistry 44 (2023), 843-856