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ABSTRACT: Theoretical studies about reaction mechanisms are usually limited to the determination of the energetic paths that connect reactants, transition states, and products. Recently, our group proposed the structural evolution, which has provided insights about the molecular structure changes occurring along a reaction path. Structural evolution may be defined as the development of a chemical reaction system across the partitioning of the nuclear configuration space into a finite number of structural regions defined on account of the topology of a scalar field, e.g., the electron density. In this paper, we present a tool to investigate within the framework of the Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules the evolvement of the Valence Shell Charge Concentration, the VSCC evolution, which is the description of the changes of electron density concentrations and depletions around the bonding area of an atom. The VSCC evolution provides supplementary information to the structural evolution because it allows the analysis of valence shells within a structural region, i.e., a subset of R(Q) with the same connectivity among the atoms forming a molecule. This new approach constitutes also a complement to the Valence-Shell Electron Pair Repulsion (VSEPR) model because it gives an account of the adjustments of electron pairs in the valence shell of an atom across a chemical reaction. The insertion reaction in the hydroformylation reaction of ethylene, the reduction of cyclohexanone with lithium aluminum hydride, the oxidation of methanol with chlorochromate, and the bimolecular nucleophilic substitution of CH(3)F with F(-) are used as representatives examples of the application of the VSCC evolution. Overall, this paper shows how the VSCC evolution through an analysis of the modifications of local charge concentrations and depletions in individual steps of a chemical reaction gives new insights about these processes.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 09/2011; 115(45):12924-32. · 2.77 Impact Factor