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Molecular Structure of the trans and cis Isomers of Metal-Free Phthalocyanine Studied by Gas-Phase Electron Diffraction and High-Level Quantum Chemical Calculations: NH Tautomerization and Calculated Vibrational Frequencies

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journal contribution
posted on 29.05.2008, 00:00 by Tatyana Strenalyuk, Svein Samdal, Hans Vidar Volden
The molecular structure of the trans isomer of metal-free phthalocyanine (H2Pc) is determined using the gas electron diffraction (GED) method and high-level quantum chemical calculations. B3LYP calculations employing the basis sets 6-31G**, 6-311++G**, and cc-pVTZ give two tautomeric isomers for the inner H atoms, a trans isomer having D2h symmetry and a cis isomer having C2v symmetry. The trans isomer is calculated to be 41.6 (B3LYP/6-311++G**, zero-point corrected) and 37.3 kJ/mol (B3LYP/cc-pVTZ, not zero-point corrected) more stable than the cis isomer. However, Hartree−Fock (HF) calculations using different basis sets predict that cis is preferred and that trans does not exist as a stable form of the molecule. The equilibrium composition in the gas phase at 471 °C (the temperature of the GED experiment) calculated at the B3LYP/6-311++G** level is 99.8% trans and 0.2% cis. This is in very good agreement with the GED data, which indicate that the mole fraction of the cis isomer is close to zero. The transition states for two mechanisms of the NH tautomerization have been characterized. A concerted mechanism where the two H atoms move simultaneously yields a transition state of D2h symmetry and an energy barrier of 95.8 kJ/mol. A two-step mechanism where a trans isomer is converted to a cis isomer, which is converted into another trans isomer, proceeds via two transition states of Cs symmetry and an energy barrier of 64.2 kJ/mol according to the B3LYP/6-311++G** calculation. The molecular geometry determined from GED is in very good agreement with the geometry obtained from the quantum chemical calculations. Vibrational frequencies, IR, and Raman intensities have been calculated using B3LYP/6-311++G**. These calculations indicate that the molecule is rather flexible with six vibrational frequencies in the range of 20−84 cm−1 for the trans isomer. The cis isomer might be detected by infrared matrix spectroscopy since the N−H stretching frequencies are very different for the two isomers.