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J Phys Chem A. 2010 Dec 23;114(50):13189-97. doi: 10.1021/jp107718w. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

Theoretical proton affinity and fluoride affinity of nerve agent VX.

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Cherry L. Emerson Center for Scientific Computation and Department of Chemistry, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, United States.


Proton affinity and fluoride affinity of nerve agent VX at all of its possible sites were calculated at the RI-MP2/cc-pVTZ//B3LYP/6-31G* and RI-MP2/aug-cc-pVTZ//B3LYP/6-31+G* levels, respectively. The protonation leads to various unique structures, with H(+) attached to oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur atoms; among which the nitrogen site possesses the highest proton affinity of -ΔE ∼ 251 kcal/mol, suggesting that this is likely to be the major product. In addition some H(2), CH(4) dissociation as well as destruction channels have been found, among which the CH(4) + [Et-O-P(═O)(Me)-S-(CH(2))(2)-N(+)(iPr)═CHMe] product and the destruction product forming Et-O-P(═O)(Me)-SMe + CH(2)═N(+)(iPr)(2) are only 9 kcal/mol less stable than the most stable N-protonated product. For fluoridization, the S-P destruction channel to give Et-O-P(═O)(Me)(F) + [S-(CH(2))(2)-N-(iPr)(2)](-) is energetically the most favorable, with a fluoride affinity of -ΔE ∼ 44 kcal. Various F(-) ion-molecule complexes are also found, with the one having F(-) interacting with two hydrogen atoms in different alkyl groups to be only 9 kcal/mol higher than the above destruction product. These results suggest VX behaves quite differently from surrogate systems.

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