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  1. The millimeter-wave rotational spectrum of ketene (H2C=C=O) has been collected and analyzed from 130 to 750 GHz, providing highly precise spectroscopic constants from a sextic, S-reduced Hamiltonian in the Ir representation. The chemical synthesis of deuteriated samples allowed spectroscopic measurements of five previously unstudied ketene isotopologues. Combined with previous work, these data provide a new, highly precise, and accurate semi-experimental (reSE) structure for ketene from 32 independent moments of inertia. This reSE structure was determined with the experimental rotational constants of each available isotopologue, together with computed vibration–rotation interaction and electron-mass distribution corrections from coupled-cluster calculations with single, double, and perturbative triple excitations [CCSD(T)/cc-pCVTZ]. The 2σ uncertainties of the reSE parameters are ≤0.0007 Å and 0.014° for the bond distances and angle, respectively. Only S-reduced spectroscopic constants were used in the structure determination due to a breakdown in the A-reduction of the Hamiltonian for the highly prolate ketene species. All four reSE structural parameters agree with the “best theoretical estimate” (BTE) values, which are derived from a high-level computed re structure [CCSD(T)/cc-pCV6Z] with corrections for the use of a finite basis set, the incomplete treatment of electron correlation, relativistic effects, and the diagonal Born–Oppenheimer breakdown. In each case, the computed value of the geometric parameter lies within the statistical experimental uncertainty (2σ) of the corresponding semi-experimental coordinate. The discrepancies between the BTE structure and the reSE structure are 0.0003, 0.0000, and 0.0004 Å for rC–C, rC–H, and rC–O, respectively, and 0.009° for θC–C–H. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 28, 2024
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  3. In this work, we present the spectral analysis of 1 H- and 2 H-1,2,3-triazole vibrationally excited states alongside provisional and practical computational predictions of the excited-state quartic centrifugal distortion constants. The low-energy fundamental vibrational states of 1 H-1,2,3-triazole and five of its deuteriated isotopologues ([1- 2 H]-, [4- 2 H]-, [5- 2 H]-, [4,5- 2 H]-, and [1,4,5- 2 H]-1 H-1,2,3-triazole), as well as those of 2 H-1,2,3-triazole and five of its deuteriated isotopologues ([2- 2 H]-, [4- 2 H]-, [2,4- 2 H]-, [4,5- 2 H]-, and [2,4,5- 2 H]-2 H-1,2,3-triazole), are studied using millimeter-wave spectroscopy in the 130–375 GHz frequency region. The normal and [2- 2 H]-isotopologues of 2 H-1,2,3-triazole are also analyzed using high-resolution infrared spectroscopy, determining the precise energies of three of their low-energy fundamental states. The resulting spectroscopic constants for each of the vibrationally excited states are reported for the first time. Coupled-cluster vibration–rotation interaction constants are compared with each of their experimentally determined values, often showing agreement within 500 kHz. Newly available coupled-cluster predictions of the excited-state quartic centrifugal distortion constants based on fourth-order vibrational perturbation theory are benchmarked using a large number of the 1,2,3-triazole tautomer isotopologues and vibrationally excited states studied. 
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  4. Hydrazoic acid (HN3) is used as a case study for investigating the accuracy and precision by which a molecular structure—specifically, a semi-experimental equilibrium structure (reSE)—may be determined using current state-of-the-art methodology. The influence of the theoretical corrections for effects of vibration–rotation coupling and electron-mass distribution that are employed in the analysis is explored in detail. The small size of HN3 allowed us to deploy considerable computational resources to probe the basis-set dependence of these corrections using a series of coupled-cluster single, double, perturbative triple [CCSD(T)] calculations with cc-pCVXZ (X = D, T, Q, 5) basis sets. We extrapolated the resulting corrections to the complete basis set (CBS) limit to obtain CCSD(T)/CBS corrections, which were used in a subsequent reSE structure determination. The reSE parameters obtained using the CCSD(T)/cc-pCV5Z corrections are nearly identical to those obtained using the CCSD(T)/CBS corrections, with uncertainties in the bond distances and angles of less than 0.0006 Å and 0.08°, respectively. The previously obtained reSE structure using CCSD(T)/ANO2 agrees with that using CCSD(T)/cc-pCV5Z to within 0.000 08 Å and 0.016° for bond distances and angles, respectively, and with only 25% larger uncertainties, validating the idea that reSE structure determinations can be carried out with significantly smaller basis sets than those needed for similarly accurate, strictly ab initio determinations. Although the purely computational re structural parameters [CCSD(T)/cc-pCV6Z] fall outside of the statistical uncertainties (2σ) of the corresponding reSE structural parameters, the discrepancy is rectified by applying corrections to address the theoretical limitations of the CCSD(T)/cc-pCV6Z geometry with respect to basis set, electron correlation, relativity, and the Born–Oppenheimer approximation, thereby supporting the contention that the semi-experimental approach is both an accurate and vastly more efficient method for structure determinations than is brute-force computation. 
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  5. The 1H- and 2H-1,2,3-triazoles are isomeric five-membered ring, aromatic heterocycles that may undergo chemical equilibration by virtue of intramolecular hydrogen migration (tautomerization). Using millimeter-wave spectroscopy in the 130–375 GHz frequency range, we measured the spectroscopic constants for thirteen 1H-1,2,3-triazole and sixteen 2H-1,2,3-triazole isotopologues. Herein, we provide highly accurate and highly precise semi-experimental equilibrium (reSE) structures for the two tautomers based on the spectroscopic constants of each set of isotopologues, together with vibration–rotation interaction and electron-mass distribution corrections calculated using coupled-cluster singles, doubles, and perturbative triples calculations [CCSD(T)/cc-pCVTZ]. The resultant structures are compared with a “best theoretical estimate” (BTE), which has recently been shown to be in exceptional agreement with the semi-experimental equilibrium structures of other aromatic molecules. Bond distances of the 1H tautomer are determined to <0.0008 Å and bond angles to <0.2°. For the 2H tautomer, bond angles are also determined to <0.2°, but bond distances are less precise (2σ ≤ 0.0015). Agreement between BTE and reSE values is discussed.

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