, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 1297-1306,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 09 Nov 2012

The shape of the halogen atom—anisotropy of electron distribution and its dependence on basis set and method used


A search through Crystal Structure Database was performed and the distances in contacts of X···N,O, X···H(N,O), and X···C type were collected together with the information on spatial arrangement of the interacting fragments. A detailed statistical analysis showed that the shape of the halogen atom cannot be simply concluded on the basis of interatomic distances in crystal state although originally the concept of anisotropic charge distribution around halogen nuclei was postulated on the basis of such an analysis. It was proven that the conclusions in that case strongly depend on the type of center interacting with the halogen atom. Therefore, it was postulated that the shape of the halogen atom can be estimated for the unperturbed (due to intermolecular interactions) halogen atom. For this purpose, a method was provided to make possible a numerical quantification of the anisotropy of the halogen atom on the basis of electron density measurements performed within the framework of Atoms in Molecules Quantum Theory. The anisotropy of Cl and Br atoms in H3C–X and F3C–X (X=Cl, Br) was estimated for MP2 and DFT-B3LYP methods and several different basis sets. The influence of the method and the basis set on the degree of anisotropic distribution of electron density around halogen nuclei was discussed.