The Application of Ab Initio Quantum Chemistry to Problems of Current Interest Raised by Experimentalists

  • P. S. Bagus
  • B. Liu
  • A. D. McLean
  • M. Yoshimine
Part of the The IBM Research Symposia Series book series (IRSS)


Rigorous methods of quantum chemistry can now be used to address problems raised by experimentalists working in a variety of areas from free radical spectroscopy to surface chemistry. The focus of this paper will be on the kinds of results that can be obtained rather than on details of the computations. This will be achieved by presenting the results of a few representative studies performed recently at the San Jose Laboratory. We shall consider first examples that belong to the area traditionally associated with quantum chemistry, the spectroscopy of small molecules. The van der Waals interactions in the dimers He2, Be2, and Mg2 will be discussed. It will be shown that with a suitable model the weak bonding in these systems can be treated with rather high accuracy. The behavior of the dipole moment curves (surfaces) for HCN and CO will be discussed. These curves are difficult to determine with infrared spectroscopy particularly for the portions relevant for highly excited vibrational levels. For CO, the calculations have helped to determine its density in the solar atmosphere. Although these first two examples deal with traditional areas of quantum chemistry; they are particularly important as cases in which definitive results are very likely to be obtained more easily from theoretical than from experimental data. The study of the electronic excitations in the peroxyl radicals, HO2 and CH3O2, considered next show the kind of interplay now possible between theory and experiment. For HO2, the theory was able to confirm the assignments made for the near infrared absorption spectrum. For CH3O2, careful theory, albeit at a simple level of approximation, made possible the interpretation of the anomolous behavior of satellite bands of the main vibronic transitions. The kinds of properties discussed in these examples can also be obtained for larger systems; the Wolff rearrangement discussed in another paper is an excellent case of this. The final example will discuss an application to what is, in principle, an even larger system, the interaction of an atom with a solid surface. The interactions of H, F, and C1 with the (111) surface of Si, modeled by molecular clusters of up to ten Si atoms, will be discussed and shown to lead to an explanation for the greater reactivity of F than Cl with a Si surface.


Quantum Chemistry Double Zeta Satellite Band Dipole Moment Function Electronic Transition Probability 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. S. Bagus
    • 1
  • B. Liu
    • 1
  • A. D. McLean
    • 1
  • M. Yoshimine
    • 1
  1. 1.IBM Research LaboratorySan JoseUSA

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