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Thermochemistry, Bond Energies, and Internal Rotor Potentials of Dimethyl Tetraoxide

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journal contribution
posted on 29.11.2007, 00:00 authored by Gabriel da Silva, Joseph W. Bozzelli
Thermochemical properties of dimethyl tetraoxide (CH3OOOOCH3), the dimer of the methylperoxy radical, are studied using ab initio and density functional theory methods. Methylperoxy radicals are known to be important intermediates in the tropospheric ozone cycle, and the self-reaction of methylperoxy radicals, which is thought to proceed via dimethyl tetraoxide, leads to significant chain radical termination in this process. Dimethyl tetraoxide has five internal rotors, three of them unique; the potential energy profiles are calculated for these rotors, as well as for those in the CH3OO, CH3OOO, and CH3OOOO radicals. The dimethyl tetraoxide internal rotor profiles show barriers to rotation of 2−8 kcal mol-1. Using B3LYP/6-31(d) geometries, frequencies, internal rotor potentials, and moments of inertia, we determine entropy and heat capacity values for dimethyl tetraoxide and its radicals. Isodesmic work reactions with the G3B3 and CBS-APNO methods are used; we calculate this enthalpy as −9.8 kcal mol-1. Bond dissociation energies (BDEs) are calculated for all C−O and O−O bonds in dimethyl tetraoxide, again with the G3B3 and CBS-APNO theoretical methods, and we suggest the following BDEs:  46.0 kcal mol-1 for CH3−OOOOCH3, 20.0 kcal mol-1 for CH3O−OOOCH3, and 13.9 kcal mol-1 for CH3OO−OOCH3. From the BDE calculations and the isodesmic enthalpy of formation for dimethyl tetraoxide, we suggest enthalpies of 2.1, 5.8, and 1.4 kcal mol-1 for the CH3OO, CH3OOO, and CH3OOOO radicals, respectively. We evaluate the suitability of 10 different density functional theory (DFT) methods for calculating thermochemical properties of dimethyl tetraoxide and its radicals with the 6-31G(d) and 6-311++G(3df,3pd) basis sets, using a variety of work reaction schemes. Overall, the best-performed DFT methods of those tested were TPSSh, BMK, and B1B95. Significant improvements in accuracy were made by moving from atomization to isodesmic work reactions, with most DFT methods yielding errors of less than 2 kcal mol-1 with the 6-311++G(3df,3pd) basis set for isodesmic calculations on the dimethyl tetraoxide enthalpy. These isodesmic calculations were basis set consistent, with a considerable reduction in error found by using the 6-311++G(3df,3pd) basis set over the 6-31G(d) basis set. This was not the case, however, for atomization and bond dissociation work reactions, where the two basis sets returned similar results. Improved group additivity terms for the O−O−O moiety (O/O2 central atom group) are also determined.

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