Ab initio studies of crystalline nitromethane under high pressure

Zerilli, Frank J.; Hooper, Joseph P.; Kuklja, Maija M.
March 2007
Journal of Chemical Physics;3/21/2007, Vol. 126 Issue 11, p114701
Academic Journal
We have studied the mechanical compressibility and band structure of solid nitromethane both in equilibrium and compressed states using Hartree-Fock and density functional theory (DFT) with atom-centered all-electron linear combination of atomic orbitals basis sets. Hartree-Fock calculations with a 6-21G basis set, uncorrected for basis set superposition error, gave the best agreement with experimental compression studies. These results may be due to the cancellation of basis set superposition error with dispersion force errors. The equilibrium DFT band gap is comparable to the lowest-energy feature in electron-impact spectroscopy of nitromethane but underpredicts the optical absorption gap; we interpret these features in terms of the presence of tightly bound excitons. Only minor changes in the gap are observed under hydrostatic compression.


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