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A New, Dispersion-Driven Intermolecular Arrangement for the Benzene–Water Octamer Complex: Isomers and Analysis of their Vibrational Spectra

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journal contribution
posted on 13.07.2016, 00:00 by Evangelos Miliordos, Edoardo Aprà, Sotiris S. Xantheas
The anharmonic spectra of the gas phase cubic water octamer (W8, D2d and S4 isomers) have been theoretically calculated at the second order Møller–Plesset perturbation (MP2) and the coupled cluster with single, double and a perturbative estimate of triple replacements [CCSD­(T)] theories. The CCSD­(T) harmonic frequencies are the first ones reported for this cluster. An additional band at ∼3500 cm–1 is reported, in a spectral area that was not previously accessible experimentally due to technical reasons. The IR spectra of the S4 isomer have a larger number of fundamental bands than the spectra of the D2d isomer, in accordance with the presence of lower symmetry in the former compared to the latter. When W8 interacts with benzene (BZ), the dispersion interaction plays a major role in determining the resulting intermolecular arrangement. Calculations at the MP2, DFT (with the ωB97XD functional which includes dispersion corrections) and CCSD­(T) levels of theory suggest an optimal arrangement in which BZ is almost parallel to one of the faces of the W8 cube. This structure differs from the previously reported one in which one of the “free” OH bonds of the W8 cube pointed toward the center of BZ (Science 276, 1678 (1997)) that was determined at the DFT level with the dispersionless B3LYP functional and was used to assign the experimentally measured IR spectra. Five low-lying isomers, three of the S4-like and two of the D2d-like type, were determined, and their spectra were assigned. The perturbation of BZ to the W8 vibrational bands amounts to (i) the localization of the normal modes of W8 thus resulting in more IR active bands and (ii) the lowering of the overall symmetry of the complex that results in the splitting of the doubly degenerate bands of the bare W8. Our results further suggest that a future recording of the IR spectra in the HOH bending region can definitively aid in the assignment of the various isomers of both the BZ and the BZ–W8 complexes.