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  1. X-ray Transient Absorption Spectroscopy (XTAS) and theoretical calculations are used to study CCl 4 + prepared by 800 nm strong-field ionization. XTAS simultaneously probes atoms at the carbon K-edge (280–300 eV) and chlorine L-edge (195–220 eV). Comparison of experiment to X-ray spectra computed by orbital-optimized density functional theory (OO-DFT) indicates that after ionization, CCl 4 + undergoes symmetry breaking driven by Jahn–Teller distortion away from the initial tetrahedral structure (T d ) in 6 ± 2 fs. The resultant symmetry-broken covalently bonded form subsequently separates to a noncovalently bound complex between CCl 3 + and Cl over 90 ± 10 fs, which is again predicted by theory. Finally, after more than 800 fs, L-edge signals for atomic Cl are observed, indicating dissociation to free CCl 3 + and Cl. The results for Jahn–Teller distortion to the symmetry-broken form of CCl 4 + and formation of the Cl–CCl+3 complex characterize previously unobserved new species along the route to dissociation.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 17, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 4, 2023
  3. Sodium hydride (NaH) in the gas phase presents a seemingly simple electronic structure making it a potentially tractable system for the detailed investigation of nonadiabatic molecular dynamics from both computational and experimental standpoints. The single vibrational degree of freedom, as well as the strong nonadiabatic coupling that arises from the excited electronic states taking on considerable ionic character, provides a realistic chemical system to test the accuracy of quasi-classical methods to model population dynamics where the results are directly comparable against quantum mechanical benchmarks. Using a simulated pump–probe type experiment, this work presents computational predictions of population transfer through the avoided crossings of NaH via symmetric quasi-classical Meyer–Miller (SQC/MM), Ehrenfest, and exact quantum dynamics on realistic, ab initio potential energy surfaces. The main driving force for population transfer arises from the ground vibrational level of the D 1 Σ + adiabatic state that is embedded in the manifold of near-dissociation C 1 Σ + vibrational states. When coupled through a sharply localized first-order derivative coupling most of the population transfers between t = 15 and t = 30 fs depending on the initially excited vibronic wavepacket. While quantum mechanical effects are expected due to the reduced mass of NaH, predictionsmore »of the population dynamics from both the SQC/MM and Ehrenfest models perform remarkably well against the quantum dynamics benchmark. Additionally, an analysis of the vibronic structure in the nonadiabatically coupled regime is presented using a variational eigensolver methodology.« less
  4. As known, small HCl–water nanoclusters display a particular dissociation behaviour, whereby at least four water molecules are required for the ionic dissociation of HCl. In this work, we examine how intermolecular interactions promote the ionic dissociation of such nanoclusters. To this end, a set of 45 HCl–water nanoclusters with up to four water molecules is introduced. Energy decomposition analysis based on absolutely localized molecular orbitals (ALMO-EDA) is employed in order to study the importance of frozen interaction, dispersion, polarization, and charge-transfer for the dissociation. The vertical ALMO-EDA scheme is applied to HCl–water clusters along a proton-transfer coordinate varying the amount of spectator water molecules. The corresponding ALMO-EDA results show a clear preference for the dissociated cluster only in the presence of four water molecules. Our analysis of adiabatic ALMO-EDA results reveals a push–pull mechanism for the destabilization of the HCl bond based on the synergy between forward and backward charge-transfer.
  5. Abstract

    The generation of reference data for deep learning models is challenging for reactive systems, and more so for combustion reactions due to the extreme conditions that create radical species and alternative spin states during the combustion process. Here, we extend intrinsic reaction coordinate (IRC) calculations withab initioMD simulations and normal mode displacement calculations to more extensively cover the potential energy surface for 19 reaction channels for hydrogen combustion. A total of ∼290,000 potential energies and ∼1,270,000 nuclear force vectors are evaluated with a high quality range-separated hybrid density functional,ωB97X-V, to construct the reference data set, including transition state ensembles, for the deep learning models to study hydrogen combustion reaction.

  6. Energy decomposition analysis (EDA) based on absolutely localized molecular orbitals (ALMOs) decomposes the interaction energy between molecules into physically interpretable components like geometry distortion, frozen interactions, polarization, and charge transfer (CT, also sometimes called charge delocalization) interactions. In this work, a numerically exact scheme to decompose the CT interaction energy into pairwise additive terms is introduced for the ALMO-EDA using density functional theory. Unlike perturbative pairwise charge-decomposition analysis, the new approach does not break down for strongly interacting systems, or show significant exchange–correlation functional dependence in the decomposed energy components. Both the energy lowering and the charge flow associated with CT can be decomposed. Complementary occupied–virtual orbital pairs (COVPs) that capture the dominant donor and acceptor CT orbitals are obtained for the new decomposition. It is applied to systems with different types of interactions including DNA base-pairs, borane-ammonia adducts, and transition metal hexacarbonyls. While consistent with most existing understanding of the nature of CT in these systems, the results also reveal some new insights into the origin of trends in donor–acceptor interactions.
  7. Quantum chemistry in the form of density functional theory (DFT) calculations is a powerful numerical experiment for predicting intermolecular interaction energies. However, no chemical insight is gained in this way beyond predictions of observables. Energy decomposition analysis (EDA) can quantitatively bridge this gap by providing values for the chemical drivers of the interactions, such as permanent electrostatics, Pauli repulsion, dispersion, and charge transfer. These energetic contributions are identified by performing DFT calculations with constraints that disable components of the interaction. This review describes the second-generation version of the absolutely localized molecular orbital EDA (ALMO-EDA-II). The effects of different physical contributions on changes in observables such as structure and vibrational frequencies upon complex formation are characterized via the adiabatic EDA. Example applications include red- versus blue-shifting hydrogen bonds; the bonding and frequency shifts of CO, N 2 , and BF bound to a [Ru(II)(NH 3 ) 5 ] 2 + moiety; and the nature of the strongly bound complexes between pyridine and the benzene and naphthalene radical cations. Additionally, the use of ALMO-EDA-II to benchmark and guide the development of advanced force fields for molecular simulation is illustrated with the recent, very promising, MB-UCB potential.