On the role of intermolecular interactions in establishing chiral stability

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25 Scopus citations


I study the effect of intermolecular interactions on coherent tunneling racemization within the framework of the Hund double well model. Two self-consistent equations for the well population amplitudes, coupled by a tunneling matrix element, are used to describe the system dynamics. It is shown that the equations of motion are nonlinear due to the difference between homochiral interactions and heterochiral interactions. The consequence of this nonlinearity is that chiral molecular configurations are far more stable than expected by the Hund model for isolated molecules. Moreover, when the homochiral interactions are energetically favorable to heterochiral interactions (weaker homochiral repulsive interactions or stronger homochiral attractive interactions), spontaneous symmetry breaking may amplify the optical activity of a nearly racemic mixture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8743-8746
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - 22 May 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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