van der Waals Radii

Access van der Waals Radii information within QCElemental.

>>> qcel.vdwradii.get(6)
>>> qcel.vdwradii.get("C")
>>> qcel.vdwradii.get("C12")
>>> qcel.vdwradii.get("Carbon")


To prepare for future changes, van der waals radii are contained in contexts. The qcel.vdwradii context will be updated over time to the latest data. To “pin” a context version, a specific context can be created like so:

>>> context = qcel.VanderWaalsRadii("MANTINA2009")
>>> qcel.vdwradii.get(6)

Currently only MANTINA2009 is available.


Top level user functions:

get(*[, return_tuple, units, missing])

Access a van der Waals radius for species atom.


Print name, value, and units of all van der Waals radii.

Function Definitions

qcelemental.vdwradii.get(atom, *, return_tuple=False, units='bohr', missing=None)

Access a van der Waals radius for species atom.

  • atom (Union[int, str]) – Identifier for element or nuclide, e.g., H, C, Al.

  • units (str) – Units of returned value. To return in native unit (MANTINA2009: angstrom), pass it explicitly. Only relevant for return_tuple=False since True returns underlying data structure with native units.

  • missing (Optional[float]) –

    How to handle when atom is valid but outside the available data range. When None, raises DataUnavailableError. When a float, returns that float, so supply in units units. Supplying a float is a more compact assurance that a call will work over all the periodic table than the equivalent

        rad = qcel.vdwradii.get(atom)
    except qcel.DataUnavailableError:
        rad = 4.0

    Only relevant for return_tuple=False.

  • return_tuple (bool) – See below.

Return type

Union[float, Datum]


  • float – When return_tuple=False, value of Van der Waals radius. If multiple defined for element, returns largest.

  • qcelemental.Datum – When return_tuple=True, Datum with units, description, uncertainty, and value of van der Waals radius as Decimal (preserving significant figures). If multiple defined for element, returns largest.

  • NotAnElementError – If atom cannot be resolved into an element or nuclide or label.

  • DataUnavailableError – If atom is a valid element or nuclide but not one for which a van der Waals radius is available and missing=None.


Print name, value, and units of all van der Waals radii.

Return type