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Structural Studies on Ethyl Isovalerate by Microwave Spectroscopy and Quantum Chemical Calculations

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journal contribution
posted on 20.01.2011, 00:00 by Halima Mouhib, Dragan Jelisavac, Lilian W. Sutikdja, Elisabeth Isaak, Wolfgang Stahl
We observed the microwave spectrum of ethyl isovalerate by molecular beam Fourier transform microwave spectroscopy. The rotational and centrifugal distortion constants of the most abundant conformer were determined. Its structure was investigated by comparison of the experimental rotational constants with those obtained by ab initio methods. In a first step, the rotational constants of various conformers were calculated at the MP2/6-311++G** level of theory. Surprisingly, no agreement with the experimental results was found. Therefore, we concluded that in the case of ethyl isovalerate more advanced quantum chemical methods are required to obtain a reliable molecular geometry. Ab initio calculations carried out at MP3/6-311++G**, MP4/6-311++G**, and CCSD/6-311++G** levels and also density functional theory calculations using the B3LYP/6-311++G** method gave similar results for the rotational constants, but they were clearly distinct from those obtained at the MP2/6-311++G** level. With use of these more advanced methods, the rotational constants of the lowest energy conformer were in good agreement with those obtained from the microwave spectrum.