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Journal of Chemical Physics



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Electronic structure calculations and direct chemical dynamics simulations are used to study the formation and decomposition of dioxetane on its ground state singlet potential energy surface. The stationary points for 1O2 + C2H4, the singlet ·O–O–CH2–CH2· biradical, the transition state (TS) connecting this biradical with dioxetane, and the two transition states and gauche ·O–CH2–CH2–O· biradical connecting dioxetane with the formaldehyde product molecules are investigated at different levels of electronic structuretheory including UB3LYP, UMP2, MRMP2, and CASSCF and a range of basis sets. The UB3LYP/6-31G* method was found to give representative energies for the reactive system and was used as a model for the simulations. UB3LYP/6-31G* direct dynamics trajectories were initiated at the TS connecting the ·O–O–CH2–CH2· biradical and dioxetane by sampling the TS's vibrational energy levels, and rotational and reaction coordinate energies, with Boltzmann distributions at 300, 1000, and 1500 K. This corresponds to the transition state theorymodel for trajectories that pass the TS. The trajectories were directed randomly towards both the biradical and dioxetane. A small fraction of the trajectories directed towards the biradical recrossed the TS and formed dioxetane. The remainder formed 1O2 + C2H4 and of these ∼ 40% went directly from the TS to 1O2 + C2H4without getting trapped and forming an intermediate in the ·O–O–CH2–CH2· biradical potential energy minimum, a non-statistical result. The dioxetane molecules which are formed dissociate to two formaldehyde molecules with a rate constant two orders of magnitude smaller than that predicted by Rice–Ramsperger–Kassel–Marcus theory. The reaction dynamics from dioxetane to the formaldehyde molecules do not follow the intrinsic reaction coordinate or involve trapping in the gauche ·O–CH2–CH2–O· biradical potential energy minimum. Important non-statistical dynamics are exhibited for this reactive system.


The following article appeared in Journal of Chemical Physics 137 (2012): 044305, and may be found at doi:10.1063/1.4736843.


Copyright 2012 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.

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