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J Chem Phys. 2004 Dec 15;121(23):11839-55.

Intermolecular potential energy surface and spectra of He-HCl with generalization to other rare gas-hydrogen halide complexes.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA.


A two-dimensional (rigid monomer) intermolecular potential energy surface (PES) of the He-HCl complex has been obtained from ab initio calculations utilizing the symmetry-adapted perturbation theory (SAPT) and an spdfg basis set including midbond functions. The bond length in HCl was chosen to be equal to the expectation value in the ground vibrational state of isolated HCl. The rigid-monomer potential should be a very good approximation to the complete (three-dimensional) potential for H-Cl distances corresponding to the lowest vibrational levels of the monomer since the He-HCl interaction energy was found to be only weakly dependent on the HCl bond length in this region, at least as compared to systems such as Ar-HF. The calculated points were fitted using an analytic function with ab initio computed asymptotic coefficients. As expected, the complex is loosely bound, with the dispersion energy providing the majority of the attraction. Our SAPT PES agrees with the semiempirical PES of Willey et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 96, 898 (1992)], in finding that, atypically for rare gas-hydrogen halide complexes including the lighter halide atoms, the global minimum is on the Cl side (with intermonomer separation 3.35 A and depth of 32.8 cm(-1)), rather than on the H side, where there is only a local minimum (3.85 A, 30.8 cm(-1)). The ordering of the minima was confirmed by single-point calculations in larger basis sets and complete basis set extrapolations, and also using higher levels of theory. We show that the opposite findings in the recent calculations of Zhang and Shi [J. Mol. Struct: THEOCHEM 589, 89 (2002)] are due to the lack of midbond functions in their basis set. Despite the closeness in depth of the two linear minima, the existence of a relatively high barrier between them invalidates the assumption of isotropy, a feature of some literature potentials. The trends concerning the locations of minima within the family of rare gas-hydrogen halide complexes are rationalized in terms of the physical components of the intermolecular forces and related to monomer properties. The accuracy of the SAPT PES was tested by performing calculations of rovibrational levels. The transition frequencies obtained were found to be in excellent agreement (to within 0.02 cm(-1)) with the measurements of Lovejoy and Nesbitt [J. Chem. Phys. 93, 5387 (1990)]. The SAPT PES predicts a dissociation energy for the complex of 7.74 cm(-1) which is probably more accurate than the experimental value of 10.1+/-1.2 cm(-1). Our analysis of the ground-state rovibrational wave function shows that the He-HCl configuration is favored over the He-ClH configuration despite the ordering of minima. This is due to the greater volume of the well in the former case. We have also determined positions and widths of three low-lying resonance states through scattering calculations. These predictions are expected to be more accurate than values derived from experiment.

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