Interactive simulation of molecule vibration and rotation modes  
[ Français ]  
Marc Couture
mcouture@teluq.ca, Université TÉLUQ, Canada
with the collaboration of Alexandre Ayotte, Cyberlude Inc.

VR Molecules Pro is a simulation illustrating dynamically and interactively the vibration and rotation modes for 24 molecules (out of a more extensive list) containing up to twelve atoms. Much in the same way as a Power Point presentations, one can create documents containing up to 10 "pages", each featuring one or two molecules with specific parameters (viewpoint, active modes, viewing options, etc.). These documents can be saved on one's computer, or uploaded on a online server, for later reloading or reuse.

VR Molecules Pro is a Windows-only application, available in a ZIP archive named VR_Molecules_Pro_en.zip (about 3 MB).

Note. The application runs on all Windows versions from XP to Win 10.

Download and "installation" instructions

  1. Click on this link VR_Molecules_Pro_en.zip with the right mouse button and select Save target (or link) as.... Note the location (folder) where the file is downloaded, or choose an easy-to-retrieve location on your computer.

  2. In the folder where the file VR_Molecules_Pro_en.zip has been downloaded, click on its icon, again with the right mouse button, and select Extract All. This will create a folder named VR_Molecules_Pro_en.

  3. This folder contains a help file userGuide.htm, and the application itself, named VR Molecules Pro.exe (the .exe extension may not be visible). Double-click this file to launch VR Molecules Pro.

Please note that this executable file is not an installer but the ready-to-run (portable) application. This means that no change is made to your system, thus there is no risk of conflict between VR Molecules Pro and other programs installed on your computer.

For the same reason, to suppress VR Molecules Pro from your computer, you need simply to delete the VR_Molecules_Pro_en folder with all its content.

For explanations on VR Molecules Pro features, click in its title bar on the icon to activate / deactivate tool tips or on the icon to access the user guide.

For further information, or if you are interested in collaborating to the enhancement of VR Molecules (v.g. adding new molecules, improving the existing functionalities), or to research/discussion about its use as a teaching/learning tool, please contact the author, Marc Couture. You can also find other simulation and(or) multimedia software for science education on the author's website.


In the simulation, all vibration frequencies and atom equilibrium positions are "exact" (v.g. not calculated by a molecular modeling software but obtained from handbooks or public databases),while displacements of atoms in the various vibration modes are calculated using the simple (classical) models used in most of the literature. However, for spatial (i.e. non-planar) molecules, some mode configurations were deduced from figures in Herzberg's book [1]; in these cases, the resulting uncertainty was reduced by applying momentum and angular momentum conservation.

1. Herzberg, Gerhard (1967). Molecular Spectra and Molecular Structure - Infrared and Raman Spectra of Polyatomic Molecules (2nd ed.). Toronto: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Last updated: April 4, 2020

Licence Creative Commons Canada 2.5

VR Molecules Pro is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial 2.5 Canada license.