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Probing Blue-Shifting Hydrogen Bonds with Adiabatic Energy Decomposition Analysis


The physical origin of blue-shifting hydrogen bonds remains a subject of debate, although many plausible explanations have been proposed. Using a molecular property decomposition analysis based on absolutely localized molecular orbitals, we investigated several representative F3CH···Y (Y = H2O, NH3, Cl-) complexes. We reveal that features of a blue-shifting H-bond already appear on the frozen surface where both polarization and charge transfer (CT) are "turned off", and that the final frequency shift observed depends on the strength of CT. Further decomposition of forces at the frozen level shows that Pauli repulsion is the only component that shortens the C-H bond in the short-range, while both permanent electrostatics and dispersion lengthen the bond. The effects of these forces from the medium to long-range are also discussed. Our analysis provides a complete picture for blue-shifting H-bonds and suggests two necessary conditions for their features to be observed at equilibrium structures: (i) stronger Pauli repulsion than the combination of electrostatic and dispersion forces; (ii) relatively weak CT that is insufficient to compensate for the blue-shifting effect of the frozen interaction.

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