Noncovalent interactions are ubiquitous in Nature and contribute to the cohesion of chemical systems. If their existence was long suspected they were firstly taken into consideration by van der Waals in 1873, helping to revise the equation of state for real gases. In comparison to covalent bonds, intra- and intermolecular noncovalent interactions are in general locally weak and exhibit much lower energy and directionality, as reflected by the term ''noncovalent''. Nevertheless, in many cases these interactions can collectively play a dominant role in synthesis, catalysis and design of materials. In the first half of the 20th century, these properties have already fueled passionate debates on their origin and nature particularly with the emergence of quantum chemistry with the works of Schrödinger and London.
Based on the nature of the particular elements or synthons involved in the interactions, noncovalent bonds are often classified into hydrogen, noble gases, halogen, chalcogen, pnictogen, tetrel and triel «bonds», as well as agostic, anagostic, cation-π, anion-π, n-π*, π-π stacking, metal-metal, dispersion-driven and hydrophobic interactions, etc.
As the fields of noncovalent interactions are growing intensively, several books in Wiley, Royal Society of Chemistry, Elsevier or Springer and four thematic issues on these weak forces have been published in Chemical Reviews in 1988, 1994, 2000 and 2016. The hydrogen and halogen bonds have already been defined by IUPAC (Recommendations 2011 and 2013, respectively), the definitions for chalcogen, pnictogen and tetrel bonds are under progress. Moreover, there are international conferences/symposia on Supramolecular Chemistry, and particular types of noncovalent interactions, such as The International Conference on "Horizons in Hydrogen Bond Research" (established by Prof. Lucjan Sobczyk in Poland in 1977), International Symposium on Halogen Bonding [established by Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo and Prof. Giuseppe Resnati in Porto Cesareo (Lecce, Italy) in 2014], etc.
Thus, the chemistry of this century is expected to be largely driven by noncovalent interactions and it was timely to establish a general/regular series of International Conferences on Noncovalent Interactions (ICNI), the first one of which was inaugurated on 2-6 September 2019 in Lisbon.
The second edition of ICNI will be held on July 19th-23rd 2021 in Strasbourg-France, a high place of the research on noncovalent interactions and their applications.
Further editions within this series will be followed every two years, in odd number years, thus avoiding competition with other major series of conferences, i.e., the ICOMC and ICCC, which are being held in even years (2014, 2016, 2018, etc.). The 2023 edition is already planned to take place in Moscow, Russian Federation.
We are thankful to all International Advisory Board members representing Europe, Asia, Africa and America for their support and suggestions.
On behalf of the Organizing Commitee, it is our pleasure to invite you to attend the 2nd International Conference on Noncovalent Interactions (ICNI) to be held in Strasbourg in 2021 (July 19th-23rd).
Registrations will open in November 2020.
We'll be most pleased to welcome you herein and look forward to meeting you at the 2nd ICNI !
Jean-Pierre Djukic, Chairman of the 2nd ICNI 2021 @ Strasbourg, France
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