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Chemical Equilibrium of Zinc Acetate Complexes in Ethanol Solution. A Theoretical Description through Thermodynamic Cycles

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journal contribution
posted on 14.04.2020, 09:14 by Julieta Reyna-Luna, Raúl Flores, Rodolfo Gómez-Balderas, Marco Franco-Pérez
The Gibbs free energy of complexation between the Zn­(II) species and acetate ligands, forming the [Zn­(OAc)n]2–n complexes with n = 1, 2 in an ethanol solution, was assessed by two different theoretical protocols based on thermodynamic cycles. In both approaches, the solution phase Gibbs free energy of each reaction is computed by summing up contributions from gas phase thermochemistry calculations to solvation Gibbs free energies obtained in a hybrid fashion, i.e., each (neutral or electrically charged) solute was first solvated by explicit solvent molecules in order to capture relevant (micro) solute–solvent and/or solvent–solvent interactions and then, a continuum model calculation is performed in order to get the corresponding bulky solute–solvent contributions. For our first thermodynamic protocol, here denominated as variant 1, a set of x independent solvent molecules are used to screen each of the involved solutes, while the variant 2 strategy uses the fact that a set of solvent molecules may exist as aggregates (or molecular clusters) in the solvent macroscopic media, before the solvation process of solutes. Our selected quantum theoretical protocol was the M05-2X/6-31+G­(d)/SMD level. We made a systematic exploration about the influence of several sources of errors, such as the solvent conformation, the number of solvent molecules used to screen each of the involved solutes, the coordination geometry of the metallic center before and after the complexation process, and the pertinence of using molecular geometries optimized in gas phase and in ethanol solution, for the computation of the Gibbs free energy variation regarding the two chemical reactions under study. We set an accuracy threshold equal or less than 4.0 kcal·mol–1, with respect to the corresponding experimental records. The robustness of our thermodynamic strategies was then tested by computing the gas phase free energy contributions to the (solution phase) reaction free energies here assessed, using different density functional approximations, namely the M05-2X, BH&HLYP, PBE0, ωb97X-D and M06-2X functionals in conjunction with the larger 6-311+G­(d,p) basis set.