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CC2 Benchmark for Models of Phenylalanine Protein Chains: 0–0 Transition Energies and IR Signatures of the ππ* Excited State

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journal contribution
posted on 31.12.2019, 12:34 by Mi-Song Dupuy, Eric Gloaguen, Benjamin Tardivel, Michel Mons, Valérie Brenner
Extensive benchmarking calculations are presented to assess the accuracy of the standard approximate coupled cluster singles and doubles method (CC2) in studying ππ* excited states properties of model protein chains containing a phenylalanine residue, namely capped peptides, whose ground state conformers adopt the prototypical secondary structural features of proteins. First, the dependence with the basis set of the CC2 excitation energies, CC2 geometry optimizations, and amide A region frequencies of the lowest ππ* excited state in a reference system, the N-acetylphenylalaninylamide, are investigated, and the results are compared with experimental data. Second, at the best level of theory determined, the CC2/aug­(N,O,π)-cc-pVDZ//CC2/cc-pVDZ level, a series of capped peptides of increasing size and containing residues of different nature are investigated. Along the series, compared to the experimental values, a mean absolute error of 0.10 eV is achieved for the 0–0 transition energies with a systematic overestimation. In addition, mode-dependent linear scaling functions for the calculated frequencies of the amide A region have been determined from the set of 95 experimental frequencies available; they lead to a quantitative simulation of the observed shifts of the amide A region frequencies upon ππ* excitation (root-mean-square deviation of 5 cm–1). These results confirm the reliability of the CC2 method to characterize the lowest ππ* excited state of such medium-sized systems, emphasizing this class of theoretical approaches as a relevant spectroscopic tool, including for tasks as difficult as conformational assignment.