Quasiclassical trajectories on a finite element density functional potential energy surface: The C++H2O reaction revisited

Flores, Jesús R.
October 2006
Journal of Chemical Physics;10/28/2006, Vol. 125 Issue 16, p164309
Academic Journal
A new method for the representation of potential energy surfaces (PESs) based on the p version of the finite element method is presented and applied to the PES of the [COH2]+ system in order to study the C++H2O→[COH]++H reaction through the quasiclassical trajectory method. Benchmark ab initio computations have been performed on the most relevant stationary points of the PES through a procedure that incorporates basis set extrapolations, the contribution of the core correlation energy, and scalar relativistic corrections. The electronic structure method employed to compute the many points needed to construct the PES is a hybrid density functional approach of the B3LYP type with geometry-dependent parameters, which improves dramatically the performance with respect of the B3LYP method. The trajectory computations shed light on the behavior of the COH2+ complex formed in the collision. At a fixed relative translational energy of 0.62 eV, which corresponds to the crossed beam experiments [D. M. Sonnenfroh et al., J. Chem. Phys. 83, 3985 (1985)], the complex dissociates significantly into the reactants (37%). However, the behavior for a thermal sampling at T=300 K is significantly different because only 9% of the trajectories where capture occurs lead to dissociation into the reactants. The latter kind of behavior is coherent with the view that simple ion-molecule reactions proceed quite often at the capture rate provided it is corrected by the fraction of the electronic states which, being nearly degenerate for the reactants, become attractive at short distances. For both T=300 K and crossed beam conditions, the trajectory computations indicate that COH2+ is the critical intermediate, in agreement with a recent work [Y. Ishikawa et al., Chem. Phys. Lett. 370, 490 (2003)] and in contrast with the interpretation of the crossed beam experiments. Besides, virtually all trajectories generate COH++H (>99%), but a significant proportion of the isoformyl cation is formed with enough vibrational energy as to surmount the COH+–HCO+ isomerization barrier, about 37% at T=300 K.


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