On the nature of stabilization in weak, medium, and strong charge-transfer complexes: CCSD(T)/CBS and SAPT calculations

S Karthikeyan, Robert Sedlak, Pavel Hobza
Journal of Physical Chemistry. A 2011 September 1, 115 (34): 9422-8
Weak, medium, and strong charge-transfer (CT) complexes containing various electron donors (C(2)H(4), C(2)H(2), NH(3), NMe(3), HCN, H(2)O) and acceptors (F(2), Cl(2), BH(3), SO(2)) were investigated at the CCSD(T)/complete basis set (CBS) limit. The nature of the stabilization for these CT complexes was evaluated on the basis of perturbative NBO calculations and DFT-SAPT/CBS calculations. The structure of all of the complexes was determined by the counterpoise-corrected gradient optimization performed at the MP2/cc-pVTZ level, and most of complexes possess a linear-like contact structure. The total stabilization energies lie between 1 and 55 kcal/mol and the strongest complexes contain BH(3) as an electron acceptor. When ordering the electron donors and electron acceptors on the basis of these energies, we obtain the same order as that based on the perturbative E2 charge-transfer energies, which provides evidence that the charge-transfer term is the dominant energy contribution. The CCSD(T) correction term, defined as the difference between the CCSD(T) and MP2 interaction energies, is mostly small, which allows the investigation of the CT complexes of this type at the "cheap" MP2/CBS level. In the case of weak and medium CT complexes (with stabilization energy smaller than about 15 kcal/mol), the dominant stabilization originates in the electrostatic term; the dispersion as well as induction and δ(HF) terms covering the CT energy contribution are, however, important as well. For strong CT complexes, induction energy is the second (after electrostatic) most important energy term. The role of the induction and δ(HF) terms is unique and characteristic for CT complexes. For all CT complexes, the CCSD(T)/CBS and DFT-SAPT/CBS stabilization energies are comparable, and surprisingly, it is true even for very strong CT complexes with stabilization energy close to 50 kcal/mol characteristic by substantial charge transfer (more than 0.3 e). It is thus possible to conclude that perturbative DFT-SAPT analysis is robust enough to be applied even for dative-like complexes with substantial charge transfer.

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