``Substituent Effects in Pi-Pi Interactions: Sandwich and T-shaped Configurations,'' M. O. Sinnokrot and C. D. Sherrill, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 126, 7690-7697 (2004).

Sandwich and T-shaped configurations of benzene dimer, benzene-phenol, benzene-toluene, benzene-fluorobenzene, and benzene-benzonitrile are studied by coupled-cluster theory to elucidate how substituents tune pi-pi interactions. All substituted sandwich dimers bind more strongly than benzene dimer, whereas the T-shaped configurations bind more or less favorably depending on the substituent. Symmetry-adapted perturbation theory (SAPT) indicates that electrostatic, dispersion, induction, and exchange-repulsion contributions are all significant to the overall binding energies, and all but induction are important in determining relative energies. Models of pi-pi interactions based solely on electrostatics, such as the Hunter-Sanders rules, do not seem capable of explaining the energetic ordering of the dimers considered.