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Ab Initio Quantum Mechanical Description of Noncovalent Interactions at Its Limits: Approaching the Experimental Dissociation Energy of the HF Dimer

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journal contribution
posted on 12.08.2014, 00:00 by Jan Řezáč, Pavel Hobza
Hydrogen fluoride dimer is a perfect model system for studying hydrogen bonding. Its size makes it possible to apply the most advanced theoretical methods available, yet it is a full-featured complex of molecules with nontrivial electronic structure and dynamic properties. Moreover, the dissociation energy of the HF dimer has been measured experimentally with an unparalleled accuracy of ±1 cm–1(Bohac et al. J. Chem. Phys. 1992, 9, 6681). In this work, we attempt to reproduce it by purely ab initio means, using advanced quantum-mechanical computational methods free of any empiricism. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the capabilities of today’s computational chemistry and to point out its limitations by identifying the contributions that introduce the largest uncertainty into the result. The dissociation energy is calculated using a composite scheme including large basis set CCSD­(T) calculations, contributions of higher excitations up to CCSDTQ, relativistic and diagonal Born–Oppenheimer corrections and anharmonic vibrational calculations. The error of the calculated dissociation energy is 0.07 kcal/mol (25 cm–1, 2.5%) when compared to the experiment. The major part of this error can be attributed to the inaccuracy of the calculations of the zero-point vibrational energy.