We report the results of density functional theory calculations on the atomic and electronic structure of solids formed by assembling A2B2PN (A = Ge and Sn, B = Cl, Br, and I) inorganic double helices. The calculations have been performed using a generalized gradient approximation for the exchange-correlation functional and including van der Waals interactions. Our results show that the double helices crystallize in a monoclinic lattice with van der Waals type weak interactions between the double helices. In all cases except Ge2Cl2PN, the solids are stable with a binding energy between the double helices ranging from 0.06 eV per atom to 0.09 eV per atom and inter-double helices separation of more than 3.33 Å. All the solids are semiconducting. Further calculations have been done by using meta-GGA with a modified Becke-Johnson functional to obtain better band gaps, which are found to lie in the range of 0.91 eV to 1.49 eV. In the case of Ge2Br2PN the solid is a direct band gap semiconductor although the isolated double helix has an indirect band gap and it is suggested to be interesting for photovoltaic, and other optoelectronic applications. The charge transfer between the atoms has been studied using Bader charge analysis and the DDEC6 method in the CHARGEMOL program, which suggests charge transfer from the outer helix to the inner helix. This journal is © 2020 The Royal Society of Chemistry.