Current Problems and Future Prospects for Polyatomic Van der Waals Molecules and Small Clusters: Experiments
The topic of Van der Waals molecules has been reviewed repeatedly for a number of years and is likely to continue to attract widespread attention.[1, 2, 3, 4] There are a variety of reasons for this interest, although clearly the role of intermolecular forces in the aggregation of matter is the major motivating force. The characterization of the bound states arising from an intermolecular potential is made possible by a wonderful variety of tools. Introspectively, some of the enjoyment of this subject, the spectroscopy of weakly bonded complexes, has been that much of the early work in this area was intrinsically detailed high resolution spectroscopy which provided relatively definitive experimental data. Thus from the early work of Harry Welsh and his students, it was clear that the spectroscopic studies of bound states could indeed provide us with a reliable data base upon which to discuss intermolecular forces. It is fair to point out that the relative complexity of the molecular dynamics that occur for non-rigid systems requires a great amount of high resolution data to provide a sense of assurance in one’s structural conclusions. This type of data is in hand for a number of binary complexes, thus much progress has been made toward determining and understanding the detailed nature of anisotropic intermolecular forces.
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