Electronic sculpture

1. Chiral Candy (531k)

Chiral Candy

2. Alloy Wheels (373k)

14 Trannulene

3. Valentine family (165k)


4. Vortex (227k)


5. Entanglements (408k)


6. Triple meanings (408k)


For more pedagogic orbitals, see here

Introduction by Henry Rzepa

Over the years we have studied many unusual molecules, and computed their molecular orbitals in an effort to understand their behaviour. Whilst profound insight does not always come, the three dimensional nature of many orbitals can be visually very aesthetic. As a contribution to chemical art, we present here the start of a small collection of orbitals that we think has visual impact. We leave identification of the molecules themselves to the reader (anyone really desperate, please contact me).

To demonstrate the 3D nature of these orbitals, each thumbnail image below is linked to a 3DMF file. To view these orbital models, you will need a 3DMF viewer such as 3DMFPlugin (a browser plugin), 3DMF Optimizer or Geo3D (Macintosh applications) or 3DMF Viewer for Windows. Windows users must also install the QuickDraw3D libraries from Apple. You might also wish to investigate the conversion of these 3DMF files to VRML97 (X3D) format and to use a plugin such as Cortona to view the orbitals, or the use of Quesa.

The orbitals above were computed using B3LYP//6-31G(d) and GAMESS, or AM1/MOPAC and rendered using Chem3D version 5.0 or MacMolPlot, and compressed using 3DMF optimizer. This we find produces reasonable file sizes (compression ratio of up to 15:1). Some other formats tend to produce much larger files which can be slow to download.
(c) H. S. Rzepa, 2000-2006.