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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2017 Apr 5;19(14):9374-9391. doi: 10.1039/c7cp00836h.

Pair natural orbital and canonical coupled cluster reaction enthalpies involving light to heavy alkali and alkaline earth metals: the importance of sub-valence correlation.

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Physical Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, KAUST Catalysis Center, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Molecular Theory and Spectroscopy, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Stiftstr. 34-36, D-45470 Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.


In this work, we tested canonical and domain based pair natural orbital coupled cluster methods (CCSD(T) and DLPNO-CCSD(T), respectively) for a set of 32 ligand exchange and association/dissociation reaction enthalpies involving ionic complexes of Li, Be, Na, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba and Pb(ii). Two strategies were investigated: in the former, only valence electrons were included in the correlation treatment, giving rise to the computationally very efficient FC (frozen core) approach; in the latter, all non-ECP electrons were included in the correlation treatment, giving rise to the AE (all electron) approach. Apart from reactions involving Li and Be, the FC approach resulted in non-homogeneous performance. The FC approach leads to very small errors (<2 kcal mol-1) for some reactions of Na, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba and Pb, while for a few reactions of Ca and Ba deviations up to 40 kcal mol-1 have been obtained. Large errors are both due to artificial mixing of the core (sub-valence) orbitals of metals and the valence orbitals of oxygen and halogens in the molecular orbitals treated as core, and due to neglecting core-core and core-valence correlation effects. These large errors are reduced to a few kcal mol-1 if the AE approach is used or the sub-valence orbitals of metals are included in the correlation treatment. On the technical side, the CCSD(T) and DLPNO-CCSD(T) results differ by a fraction of kcal mol-1, indicating the latter method as the perfect choice when the CPU efficiency is essential. For completely black-box applications, as requested in catalysis or thermochemical calculations, we recommend the DLPNO-CCSD(T) method with all electrons that are not covered by effective core potentials included in the correlation treatment and correlation-consistent polarized core valence basis sets of cc-pwCVQZ(-PP) quality.


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