American Chemical Society
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Toward Spin–Orbit Coupled Diabatic Potential Energy Surfaces for Methyl Iodide Using Effective Relativistic Coupling by Asymptotic Representation

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-02-19, 00:50 authored by Nils Wittenbrink, Hameth Ndome, Wolfgang Eisfeld
The theoretical treatment of state–state interactions and the development of coupled multidimensional potential energy surfaces (PESs) is of fundamental importance for the theoretical investigation of nonadiabatic processes. Usually, only derivative or vibronic coupling is considered, but the presence of heavy atoms in a system can render spin–orbit (SO) coupling important as well. In the present study, we apply a new method recently developed by us (J. Chem. Phys. 2012, 136, 034103, and J. Chem. Phys. 2012, 137, 064101) to generate SO coupled diabatic PESs along the C–I dissociation coordinate for methyl iodide (CH3I). This is the first and mandatory step toward the development of fully coupled full-dimensional PESs to describe the multistate photodynamics of this benchmark system. The method we use here is based on the diabatic asymptotic representation of the molecular fine structure states and an effective relativistic coupling operator. It therefore is called effective relativistic coupling by asymptotic representation (ERCAR). This approach allows the efficient and accurate generation of fully coupled PESs including derivative and SO coupling based on high-level ab initio calculations. In this study we develop a specific ERCAR model for CH3I that so far accounts only for the C–I bond cleavage. Details of the diabatization and the accuracy of the results are investigated in comparison to reference ab initio calculations and experiments. The energies of the adiabatic fine structure states are reproduced in excellent agreement with ab initio SO–CI data. The model is also compared to available literature data, and its performance is evaluated critically. This shows that the new method is very promising for the construction of fully coupled full-dimensional PESs for CH3I to be used in future quantum dynamics studies.