Potential Energy Surface for C2 H4 I+ Dissociation Including Spin-Orbit Effects
Previous experiments [J. Phys. Chem. A 116, 2833 (2012)] have studied the dissociation of 1,2-diiodoethane radical cation () and found a one-dimensional distribution of translational energy, an odd finding considering most product relative translational energy distributions are two-dimensional. The goal of this study is to obtain an accurate understanding of the potential energy surface (PES) topology for the unimolecular decomposition reaction → C2H4I+ + I•. This is done through comparison of many single-reference electronic structure methods, coupled-cluster single-point (energy) calculations, and multi-reference energy calculations used to quantify spin–orbit (SO) coupling effects. We find that the structure of the reactant has a substantial effect on the role of the SO coupling on the reaction energy. Both the BHandH and MP2 theories with an ECP/6-31++G** basis set, and without SO coupling corrections, provide accurate models for the reaction energetics. MP2 theory gives an unsymmetric structure with different C–I bond lengths, resulting in a SO energy for similar to that for the product I-atom and a negligible SO correction to the reaction energy. In contrast, DFT gives a symmetric structure for , similar to that of the neutral C2H4I2 parent, resulting in a substantial SO correction and increasing the reaction energy by 6.0–6.5 kcalmol−1. Also, we find that, for this system, coupled-cluster single-point energy calculations are inaccurate, since a small change in geometry can lead to a large change in energy.