A genetic algorithm survey on closed-shell atomic nitrogen clusters employing a quantum chemical approach

  • M. X. Silva
  • F. T. Silva
  • B. R. L. Galvão
  • J. P. Braga
  • J. C. BelchiorEmail author
Original Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. XIX - Brazilian Symposium of Theoretical Chemistry (SBQT2017)


The DFT potential energy hypersurfaces of closed-shell nitrogen clusters up to ten atoms are explored via a genetic algorithm (GA). An atom–atom distance threshold parameter, controlled by the user, and an “operator manager” were added to the standard evolutionary procedure. Both B3LYP and PBE exchange-correlation functionals with 6-31G basis set were explored using the GA. Further evaluation of the structures generated were performed through reoptimization and vibrational analysis within MP2 and CCSD(T) levels employing larger correlation consistent basis set. The binding energies of all stable structures found are calculated and compared, as well as their energies relative to the dissociation into N2, \(\mathrm {N}_{3}^{+}\) and \(\mathrm {N}_{3}^{-}\) molecules. With the present approach, we confirmed some previously reported polynitrogen structures and predicted the stability of new ones. We can also conclude that the energy surface profile clearly depends on the calculation method employed.


Polynitrogen High energy density materials Electronic structure Genetic algorithm 



This work has the financial support from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES).

Supplementary material

894_2018_3724_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (351 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. X. Silva
    • 1
  • F. T. Silva
    • 2
  • B. R. L. Galvão
    • 3
  • J. P. Braga
    • 1
  • J. C. Belchior
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Química-ICExUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Química Fundamental-CCENUniversidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de QuímicaCentro Federal de Educação Tecnológica de Minas Gerais, CEFET-MGBelo HorizonteBrazil

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