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J Phys Chem A. 2005 Oct 27;109(42):9685-99.

Oxidative addition of the fluoromethane C-F bond to Pd. An ab initio benchmark and DFT validation study.

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  • 1Afdeling Theoretische Chemie, Scheikundig Laboratorium der Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1083, NL-1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


We have computed a state-of-the-art benchmark potential energy surface (PES) for two reaction pathways (oxidative insertion, OxIn, and S(N)2) for oxidative addition of the fluoromethane C-F bond to the palladium atom and have used this to evaluate the performance of 26 popular density functionals, covering LDA, GGA, meta-GGA, and hybrid density functionals, for describing these reactions. The ab initio benchmark is obtained by exploring the PES using a hierarchical series of ab initio methods (HF, MP2, CCSD, CCSD(T)) in combination with a hierarchical series of seven Gaussian-type basis sets, up to g polarization. Relativistic effects are taken into account through a full four-component all-electron approach. Our best estimate of kinetic and thermodynamic parameters is -5.3 (-6.1) kcal/mol for the formation of the reactant complex, 27.8 (25.4) kcal/mol for the activation energy for oxidative insertion (OxIn) relative to the separate reactants, 37.5 (31.8) kcal/mol for the activation energy for the alternative S(N)2 pathway, and -6.4 (-7.8) kcal/mol for the reaction energy (zero-point vibrational energy-corrected values in parentheses). Our work highlights the importance of sufficient higher angular momentum polarization functions for correctly describing metal-d-electron correlation. Best overall agreement with our ab initio benchmark is obtained by functionals from all three categories, GGA, meta-GGA, and hybrid DFT, with mean absolute errors of 1.4-2.7 kcal/mol and errors in activation energies ranging from 0.3 to 2.8 kcal/mol. The B3LYP functional compares very well with a slight underestimation of the overall barrier for OxIn by -0.9 kcal/mol. For comparison, the well-known BLYP functional underestimates the overall barrier by -10.1 kcal/mol. The relative performance of these two functionals is inverted with respect to previous findings for the insertion of Pd into the C-H and C-C bonds. However, all major functionals yield correct trends and qualitative features of the PES, in particular, a clear preference for the OxIn over the alternative S(N)2 pathway.

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