Infoscience

Journal article

Found in translation: Quantum chemical tools for grasping non-covalent interactions

Today's quantum chemistry methods are extremely powerful but rely upon complex quantities such as the massively multidimensional wave function or even the simpler electron density. Consequently, chemical insight and a chemist's intuition are often lost in this complexity leaving the results obtained difficult to rationalize. To handle this overabundance of information, computational chemists have developed tools and methodologies that assist in composing a more intuitive picture that permits better understanding of the intricacies of chemical behavior. In particular, the fundamental comprehension of phenomena governed by non-covalent interactions is not easily achieved in terms of either the total wave function or the total electron density, but can be accomplished using more informative quantities. This perspective provides an overview of these tools and methods that have been specifically developed or used to analyze, identify, quantify, and visualize non-covalent interactions. These include the quantitative energy decomposition analysis schemes and the more qualitative class of approaches such as the Non-covalent Interaction index, the Density Overlap Region Indicator, or quantum theory of atoms in molecules. Aside from the enhanced knowledge gained from these schemes, their strengths, limitations, as well as a roadmap for expanding their capabilities are emphasized. (C) 2017 Author (s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license

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