Theoretical Chemistry Accounts

, 124:445 | Cite as

Phenomenological description of the transition state, and the bond breaking and bond forming processes of selected elementary chemical reactions: an information-theoretic study

  • Rodolfo O. Esquivel
  • Nelson Flores-Gallegos
  • Cristina Iuga
  • Edmundo M. Carrera
  • Juan Carlos Angulo
  • Juan Antolín
Regular Article


Theoretic-information measures of the Shannon type are employed to describe the course of the simplest hydrogen abstraction and the identity SN2 exchange chemical reactions. For these elementary chemical processes, the transition state is detected and the bond breaking/forming regions are revealed. A plausibility argument of the former is provided and verified numerically. It is shown that the information entropy profiles posses much more chemically meaningful structure than the profile of the total energy for these chemical reactions. Our results support the concept of a continuum of transient of Zewail and Polanyi for the transition state rather than a single state, which is also in agreement with reaction force analyses. This is performed by following the intrinsic reaction coordinate (IRC) path calculated at the MP2 level of theory from which Shannon entropies in position and momentum spaces at the QCISD(T)/6-311++G(3df,2p) level are determined. Several selected descriptors of the density are utilized to support the observations, such as the molecular electrostatic potential, the hardness, the dipole moment along with geometrical parameters.


Reaction mechanisms Chemical reaction Information theory Ab initio calculations 



We wish to thank José María Pérez-Jordá and Miroslav Kohout for kindly providing with their numerical codes. R.O.E. wishes to thank Juan Carlos Angulo and Jesús Sánchez-Dehesa for their kind hospitality during his sabbatical stay on the Departamento de Física Atómica, Molecular y Nuclear at the Universidad de Granada, Spain. We acknowledge financial support through Mexican grants 08226 CONACyT, PIFI 3.3 PROMEP-SEP and Spanish grants MICINN projects FIS-2008-02380, FIS-2005-06237 (J.A.), FQM-1735, P05-FQM-00481 and P06-FQM-2445 of Junta de Andalucía. J.C.A., J.A. and R.O.E. belong to the Andalusian research group FQM-0207. E.C. wishes to thank CONACyT (México) for a PhD fellowship. Allocation of supercomputing time from the Laboratorio de Supercómputo y Visualización at UAM and to the Sección de Supercomputacion at CSIRC-Universidad de Granada is gratefully acknowledged. We also wish to thank the referee whose suggestions have helped to enrich the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodolfo O. Esquivel
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nelson Flores-Gallegos
    • 1
  • Cristina Iuga
    • 1
  • Edmundo M. Carrera
    • 1
  • Juan Carlos Angulo
    • 2
    • 3
  • Juan Antolín
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de QuímicaUniversidad Autónoma MetropolitanaMexico D.F.Mexico
  2. 2.Departamento de Física Atómica, Molecular y NuclearUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain
  3. 3.Instituto Carlos I de Física Teórica y ComputacionalUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain
  4. 4.Departamento de Física AplicadaEUITIZ, Universidad de ZaragozaZaragozaSpain

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