Indexed on: 01 Dec '19Published on: 22 May '19Published in: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
We present a computational study of a reduced potential energy surface (PES) to describe enantiomerization and internal rotation in three triptycyl-n-helicene molecules, centering the discussion on the issue of a proper reaction coordinate choice. To reflect the full symmetry of both strongly coupled enantiomerization and rotation processes, two non-fixed combinations of dihedral angles must be used, implying serious computational problems that required the development of a complex general algorithm. The characteristic points on each PES are analyzed, the intrinsic reaction coordinates are calculated, and finally they are projected on the reduced PES. Unlike what was previously found for triptycyl-3-helicene, the surfaces for triptycyl-4-helicene and triptycyl-5-helicene contain valley-ridge-inflection (VRI) points. The reaction paths on the reduced surfaces are analyzed to understand the dynamical behaviour of these molecules and to evaluate the possibility of a molecule of this family exhibiting a Brownian ratchet behaviour.