We seek to understand the effects that impact the strength and geometry of non-covalent interactions involving aromatic rings (π-stacking interactions, anion-π interactions, etc.) through the application of computational quantum chemistry and to quantify the role of these non-covalent interactions in organic chemistry, materials science, and molecular biology. To this end, we employ computational chemistry methods spanning the full gamut of techniques, ranging from high-accuracy ab initio methods [MP2, CCSD(T), etc] and density functional theory (DFT) to classical molecular dynamics simulations. One of our primary aims is the development of computational and conceptual tools for the rational design of asymmetric organocatalysts and organic electronic materials. To this end, a hallmark of our work is the emphasis on building predictive physical models that are of great utility for chemists.
S. E. Wheeler and J. W. G. Bloom, "Toward a More Complete Understanding of Noncovalent Interactions Involving Aromatic Rings", J. Phys. Chem. A 118, 6133 (2014).
Y. An, R. K. Raju, T. Lu, and S. E. Wheeler, "Aromatic Interactions Modulate the 5'-Base Selectivity of the DNA-binding Autoantibody ED-10", J. Phys. Chem. B 118, 5653 (2014).
T. Lu and S. E. Wheeler, "Quantifying the Role of Anion-π Interactions in Anion-π Catalysis", Org. Lett. 16, 3268 (2014).
S. E. Wheeler and J. W. G. Bloom, "Anion-π Interactions and Positive Electrostatic Potentials of N-Heterocycles Arise from the Positions of the Nuclei, not Changes in the π-electron Distribution", Chem. Commun. 50, 11118 (2014).
T. Lu and S. E. Wheeler, "Origin of the Superior Performance of (Thio)Squaramides over (Thio)Ureas in Organocatalysis", Chem. Eur. J. 19, 15141 (2013).
S. E. Wheeler, "Understanding Substituent Effects in Non-Covalent Interactions Involving Aromatic Rings", Acc. Chem. Res. 46, 1029 (2013).
T. Lu, M. A. Porterfield, and S. E. Wheeler, "Explaining the Disparate Stereoselectivities of N-Oxide Catalyzed Allylations and Propargylations of Aromatic Aldehydes", Org. Lett. 14, 5310 (2012).
T. Lu, R. Zhu, Y. An, and S. E. Wheeler, "Origin of Enantioselectivity in the Propargylation of Aromatic Aldehydes Catalyzed by Helical N-Oxides", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 3095 (2012).
J. W. G. Bloom and S. E. Wheeler, "Taking the Aromaticity out of Aromatic Interactions", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 7847 (2011).
S. E. Wheeler, "Local Nature of Substituent Effects in Stacking Interactions", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 10262 (2011).