Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Noncovalent Dimers of Formaldehyde and Thioformaldehyde: Structures, Energetics, and Vibrational Frequencies


This work provides the first characterization of five stationary points of the homogeneous thioformaldehyde dimer, (CH2S)2, and seven stationary points of the heterogeneous formaldehyde/thioformaldehyde dimer, CH2O/CH2S, with correlated ab initio electronic structure methods. Full geometry optimizations and corresponding harmonic vibrational frequencies were computed with second-order Møller–Plesset perturbation theory (MP2) and 13 different density functionals in conjunction with triple-ζ basis sets augmented with diffuse and multiple sets of polarization functions. The MP2 results indicate that the three stationary points of (CH2S)2 and four of CH2O/CH2S are minima, in contrast to two stationary points of the formaldehyde dimer, (CH2O)2. Single-point energies were also computed using the explicitly correlated MP2-F12 and CCSD(T)-F12 methods and basis sets as large as heavy-aug-cc-pVTZ. The (CH2O)2 and CH2O/CH2S MP2 and MP2-F12 binding energies deviated from the CCSD(T)-F12 binding energies by no more than 0.2 and 0.4 kcal mol–1, respectively. The (CH2O)2 and CH2O/CH2S global minimum is the same at every level of theory. However, the MP2 methods overbind (CH2S)2 by as much as 1.1 kcal mol–1, effectively altering the energetic ordering of the thioformaldehyde dimer minima relative to the CCSD(T)-F12 energies. The CCSD(T)-F12 binding energies of the (CH2O)2 and CH2O/CH2S stationary points are quite similar, with the former ranging from around −2.4 to −4.6 kcal mol–1 and the latter from about −1.1 to −4.4 kcal mol–1. Corresponding (CH2S)2 stationary points have appreciably smaller CCSD(T)-F12 binding energies ranging from ca. −1.1 to −3.4 kcal mol–1. The vibrational frequency shifts upon dimerization are also reported for each minimum on the MP2 potential energy surfaces.

J. Phys. Chem. A, 118

Supporting information can be found here.

Eric Van Dornshuld
Eric Van Dornshuld
Assistant Clinical Professor

My research interests include ab initio and DFT approaches to characterizing the properties of small, chemical systems.