Towards a quantum chemical protocol for the prediction of rovibrational spectroscopic data for transition metal molecules: Exploration of CuCN, CuOH, and CuCCH


High accuracy electronic structure computations for small transition metal-containing molecules have been a long term challenge. Due to coupling between electronic and nuclear wave functions, even experimental/theoretical identification of the ground electronic state requires tremendous efforts. Quartic force fields (QFFs) are effective ab initio tools for obtaining reliable anharmonic spectroscopic properties. However, the method that employs complete basis set limit extrapolation ("C"), consideration of core electron correlation ("cC"), and inclusion of scalar relativity ("R") to produce the energy points on the QFF, the composite CcCR methodology, has not yet been utilized to study inorganic spectroscopy. This work takes the CcCR methodology and adapts it to test whether such an approach is conducive for the closed-shell, copper-containing molecules CuCN, CuOH, and CuCCH. Gas phase rovibrational data are provided for all three species in their ground electronic states. Equilibrium geometries and many higher-order rovibrational properties show good agreement with earlier studies. However, there are notable differences, especially in computation of fundamental vibrational frequencies. Even with further additive corrections for the inner core electron correlation and coupled cluster with full single, double, and triple substitutions (CCSDT), the differences are still larger than expected indicating that more work should follow for predicting rovibrational properties of transition metal molecules.

Publication Title

Journal of Chemical Physics