The growing activity in the area of Quantum Chemical Topology warrants a new algorithm to delineate topological basins in 3D scalar fields other than the electron density. A method based on the "octal tree search algorithm" of computer graphics is proposed to reach this goal. We illustrate the algorithm on the L(r) function, which is the negative of the Laplacian of the electron density. Because of its complicated topology, even in a simple test molecule such as water, it benefits from the octal tree algorithm as a robust, compact, and general technique to find the boundaries of topological basins. For the first time, we are able to compute the population and volume of the core and valence (bonding and nonbonding, i.e., lone pair) basins given by L(r)'s topology.
- Basin integration
- Laplacian of the electron density
- Quantum chemical topology