Complexes of Helium with Neutral Molecules: Progress Toward a Quantitative Scale of Bonding Character

The complexes of helium with nearly 30 neutral molecules (M) were investigated by various techniques of bonding analysis and symmetry‐adapted perturbation theory (SAPT). The main investigated function was the local electron energy density H(r), analyzed, in particular, so to estimate the degree of polarization (DoP) of He in the various He(M). As we showed recently (Borocci et al., J. Comput. Chem., 2019, 40, 2318–2328), the DoP is a quantitative index that is generally informative about the role of polarization (induction plus charge transfer [CT]) and dispersion in noncovalent noble gas complexes. As further evidence in this regard, we presently ascertained quantitative correlations between the DoP(He) of the He(M) and indices based on the electron density ρ(r), including the molecular electrostatic potential at the HeM bond critical point, as well as the percentage contributions of induction and dispersion to the SAPT binding energies. Based also on the explicit evaluation of the CT, accomplished through the study of the charge‐displacement function, we derived a quantitative scale that ranks the He(M) according to their dispersive, inductive, and CT bonding character. Our taken approach could be conceivably extended to other types of noncovalent complexes.

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