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J Chem Phys. 2005 Apr 1;122(13):134312.

Internal rotation in peroxynitrous acid (ONOOH).

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA. mpmcgrat@uci.edu


Using higher levels of wave-function-based electronic structure theory than previously applied, as well as density functional theory (B-LYP and B3-LYP functionals), all theoretical models conclude that three ONOOH conformers are stationary point minima, in disagreement with some of the previous studies that we survey. In order of increasing energy, these are the cis-cis, cis-perp, and trans-perp conformers. Basis sets including diffuse functions seem to be needed to obtain a qualitatively correct representation of the internal rotation potential energy surface at higher levels of theory. Internal rotation about the peroxide bond involving the cis-cis, cis-gauche transition structure (TS), cis-perp, and cis-trans TS conformers is studied in detail. To help ascertain the relative stability of the cis-perp conformer, multireference configuration interaction energy calculations are carried out, and rule of thumb estimates of multireference character in the ground-state wave functions of the ONOOH conformers are considered. CCSD(T)/aug-cc-pVTZ physical properties (geometries, rotational constants, electric dipole moments, harmonic vibrational frequencies, and infrared intensities) are compared with the analogous experimental data wherever possible, and also with density functional theory. Where such experimental data are nonexistent, the CCSD(T) and B3-LYP results are useful representations. For example, the electric dipole moment |mu(e)| of the cis-cis conformer is predicted to be 0.97+/-0.03 D. CCSD(T) energies, extrapolated to the aug-cc-pVNZ limit, are employed in isodesmic reaction schemes to derive zero Kelvin heats of formation and bond dissociation energies of the ONOOH stationary point minima. In agreement with recent gas-phase experiments, the peroxide bond dissociation energies of the cis-cis and trans-perp conformers are calculated as 19.3+/-0.4 and 16.0+/-0.4 kcalmol, respectively. The lowest energy cis-cis conformer is less stable than nitric acid by 28.1+/-0.4 kcalmol at 0 K.

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