Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair(s)

Steve Scheiner, Tapas Kar


Steve Scheiner


Tapas Kar


David Farrelly


Alexander I. Boldyrev


Bradley S. Davidson


T. C. Shen


Noncovalent interactions have a long history and have received huge attention since their discovery almost a century ago. The prevalence of noncovalent interactions can be seen in the formation of simple dimers to structural and functional modification of large biomolecules. Even though plenty of experimental and theoretical studies are performed to understand various noncovalent interactions, the nature and variety of those interactions are still subject of study. And still they are receiving tremendous attention due to their significant role in the stability and conformation of biomolecules, catalysis of organic and inorganic reactions, crystal packing and material design. This dissertation explores various new sorts of noncovalent interactions, compares them with existing ones, and extensively studies the relevance of noncovalent interactions to various biological systems of interest by applying quantum mechanical tools. A new sort of noncovalent interaction has been identified where two electronegative atoms interact directly with each other with no intervening hydrogen or halogen atoms. These interactions are found to be surprisingly strong, even stronger than regular OH···O and NH···O hydrogen bonds in some cases, and are stabilized by the charge transfer from electron donor to electron acceptor. The major portion of this dissertation deals with the rigorous investigation of new sorts of interactions like P···N, S···N, Cl···N and several other charge transfer types of interactions with side by side comparison with hydrogen and halogen bonds. Similarly, a new carbonyl-carbonyl stacking geometry in peptide-peptide interactions is explored. These stacking geometries are energetically close to stronger NH···O hydrogen bonds, and get some assistance from CH···O hydrogen bonds. Carbon is considered one of the potent H-bond donors, albeit weaker, due to its ubiquitous presence in biomolecules. So, another portion of this dissertation is focused on the study of neutral and charged CH hydrogen bonds simulating various interpeptide interactions and enzyme catalysis. And the last part of this dissertation deals with the putative H-bonds that might be present in tip functionalized carbon nanotubes.



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Biochemistry Commons