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Experimental And Theoretical Studies Of Tetramethoxy-p-benzoquinone: Infrared Spectra, Structural And Lithium Insertion Properties

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Published earlier this year in RSC Advances (RSC Adv., 2013, 3, 19081-19096), a follow-up (for my part) to the study The Low-/Room-temperature Forms Of The Lithiated Salt Of 3,6-dihydroxy-2,5-dimethoxy-p-benzoquinone: A Combined Experimental And Dispersion-Corrected Density Functional Study in CrystEngComm last year. The theoretical section for this paper is a tour-de-force of Crystal09 solid-state optimizations, density functional and dispersion-correction dependence, and post-processing using Carlo Gotti’s TOPOND software. In brief, the combination of vibrational spectra, electochemical measurements, and solid-state density functional theory tests are used to predict the structure of the previously unknown lithiated tetramethoxy-p-benzoquinone structure based on the good-to-excellent agreement with two known TMQ crystal structures (the testing of density functionals and dispersion corrections being a very good survey of the pros and cons of the varied methods. If you were pondering an approach to follow to perform the same kind of theoretical analysis, the procedure set up by Gaëtan and Christine in this paper is fully worth your consideration).

2013dec20_rscadvances

Gaëtan Bonnard, Anne-Lise Barrès, Yann Danten, Damian G. Allis, Olivier Mentré, Daniele Tomerini, Carlo Gatti, Ekaterina I. Izgorodina, Philippe Poizot and Christine Frayret*

In the search for low-polluting electrode materials for batteries, the use of redox-active organic compounds represents a promising alternative to conventional metal-based systems. In this article we report a combined experimental and theoretical study of tetramethoxy-p-benzoquinone (TMQ). In carbonate-based electrolytes, electrochemical behaviour of this compound is characterized by a reversible insertion process located at approximately 2.85 V vs. Li+/Li0. This relatively high potential reactivity, coupled with our effort to develop computational methodologies in the field of organic electrode materials, prompted us to complement these experimental data with theoretical studies performed using density functional theory (DFT). Single crystals of TMQ were synthesized and thoroughly characterized showing that this quinonic species crystallised in the P21/n space group. The experimental crystal structure of TMQ was then used to assess various DFT methods. The structural features and vibrational spectra were thus predicted by using as a whole five common density functionals (PBE, LDA, revPBE, PBEsol, B3PW91) with and without a semi-empirical correction to account for the van der Waals interactions using either Grimme’s (DFT-D2) or Tkatchenko–Scheffler (TS) scheme. The most reliable combination of the DFT functional and the explicit dispersion correction was chosen to study the Li-intercalated molecular crystal (LiTMQ) with the view of indentifying Li insertion sites. A very close agreement with the experiment was found for the average voltage by using the most stable relaxed hypothetical LiTMQ structure. Additionally, a comparison of vibrational spectra gained either for TMQ molecule and its dimer in gas phase or through periodic calculation was undertaken with respect to the experimentally measured infrared spectra. The topological features of the bonds were also investigated in conjunction with estimates of net atomic charges to gain insight into the effect of chemical bonding and intermolecular interaction on Li intercalation. Finally, π-electron delocalization of both quinone and alkali salts of p-semiquinone were determined using the Harmonic Oscillator model of Aromaticity (HOMA) or aromatic fluctuation index (FLU) calculations.

Commensurate Urea Inclusion Crystals With The Guest (E,E)‐1,4-Diiodo-1,3-Butadiene

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Published in Crystal Growth & Design (Cryst. Growth Des., 2013, 13 (9), pp. 3852–3855) earlier this year. The theory work is less impressive than the successful crystal growth, with initial solid-state efforts in Crystal09 only very recently now producing good results (leaving the molecular calculations to Gaussian09 in this paper). The procedure leading to the observed crystal structure of this inclusion complex is a significant step in the direction of testing the theory proposed in Bond Alternation In Infinite Periodic Polyacetylene: Dynamical Treatment Of The Anharmonic Potential published earlier this year in J. Mol. Struct.

2013dec20_DIBD_UIC

Caption: Two views along the ba and ca crystal axes of the (E,E)‐1,4-Diiodo-1,3-Butadiene : Urea Inclusion Complex.

Amanda F. Lashua, Tiffany M. Smith, Hegui Hu, Lihui Wei, Damian G. Allis, Michael B. Sponsler, and Bruce S. Hudson

Abstract: The urea inclusion compound (UIC) with (E,E)-1,4-diiodo-1,3-butadiene (DIBD) as a guest (DIBD:UIC) has been prepared and crystallographically characterized at 90 and 298 K as a rare example of a commensurate, fully ordered UIC. The crystal shows nearly hexagonal channels in the monoclinic space group P21/n. The DIBD guest molecules are arranged end-to-end with the nonbonding iodine atoms in the van der Waals contact. The guest structure is compared with that for DIBD at 90 K and with computations for the periodic UIC and isolated DIBD molecule.

Isotopically-Labeled Solid-State Vibrational Mode Energies And Intensities In Crystal09 – A Simple How-To

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

The generation of isotopically-substituted molecular crystal spectra has become a point of interest, which means blog post. To be clear, this is for cases where isotopic substitution does not affect the crystal geometry – the crystal cell does not change significantly upon deuteration (and for those who believe isotopic substitution never leads to significant changes in the solid, I refer you Zhou, Kye, and Harbison’s article on Isotopomeric Polymprphism and their work on 4-methylpyridine pentachlorophenol, which changes dramatically upon deuteration. I beat on this point because blindly assuming of the crystal cell geometry in such cases will produce spectra noticeably different than measured. It’s NOT the calculation’s fault!).

The generation of isotopically-substituted spectra and intensities in Crystal09 is trivial provided that you KEEP THE FREQINFO.DAT FILE. In fact, you need keep ONLY the FREQINFO.DAT to generate these spectra, which greatly reduces file transfer loads and allows for the scripted calculation of new vibrational spectra and thermodynamic data post-frequency calculation.

As my example system, I’m using the dispersion-corrected crystal cell of alpha-HMX (I have it handy, it’s a small system, and having anything about HMX on your website is proven to increase traffic) at the B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) level of theory. Original input file (the one where the original normal mode analysis is performed) is below:

Test - alpha-HMX 6-31Gdp set DFT/B3LYP FREQ
CRYSTAL
0 0 0
43
15.14 23.89 5.913 124.3
14
6      1.016493675797E-01 -4.109909899348E-02 -3.351438244488E-03
6     -6.539109813231E-02 -6.180633576707E-02 -1.110575784790E-02
1      9.149797846691E-02 -4.382919469310E-02 -1.860042940246E-01
1      1.558888705857E-01 -6.829708099502E-02  4.595161229829E-02
1     -5.138242817334E-02 -5.844587273099E-02 -1.920922064181E-01
1     -9.781600273101E-02 -1.015710562102E-01  2.063738273292E-02
7      1.992579327285E-02 -5.951921578598E-02  1.040704228546E-01
7      1.232154652110E-01  1.634305404407E-02  5.951841980010E-02
7      2.220759010770E-02 -7.142100857312E-02  3.299259852838E-01
7      2.054067942916E-01  2.817244373261E-02  1.473285310628E-01
8     -4.761487685316E-02 -8.656669456613E-02  4.192568497756E-01
8      9.327421157186E-02 -6.479426971916E-02  4.286363161888E-01
8      2.563441491059E-01 -1.128705054032E-02  1.760581823035E-01
8      2.225071782791E-01  7.736574474011E-02  1.903699942346E-01
FREQCALC
INTENS
END
END
8 4
0 0 6 2.0 1.0
 5484.671700         0.1831100000E-02
 825.2349500         0.1395010000E-01
 188.0469600         0.6844510000E-01
 52.96450000         0.2327143000    
 16.89757000         0.4701930000    
 5.799635300         0.3585209000  
0 1 3 6.0 1.0
 15.53961600        -0.1107775000         0.7087430000E-01
 3.599933600        -0.1480263000         0.3397528000    
 1.013761800          1.130767000         0.7271586000    
0 1 1 0.0 1.0
 0.2700058000          1.000000000          1.000000000
0 3 1 0.0 1.0
 0.800000000          1.00000000    
7 4
0 0 6 2.0 1.0
       4173.51100         0.183480000E-02
       627.457900         0.139950000E-01
       142.902100         0.685870000E-01
       40.2343300         0.232241000    
       12.8202100         0.469070000    
       4.39043700         0.360455000    
0 1 3 5.0 1.0
       11.6263580        -0.114961000         0.675800000E-01
       2.71628000        -0.169118000         0.323907000    
      0.772218000          1.14585200         0.740895000    
0 1 1 0.0 1.0
      0.212031300          1.00000000          1.00000000    
0 3 1 0.0 1.0
 0.800000000          1.00000000    
6 4
0 0 6 2.0 1.0
    .3047524880D+04   .1834737130D-02
    .4573695180D+03   .1403732280D-01
    .1039486850D+03   .6884262220D-01
    .2921015530D+02   .2321844430D+00
    .9286662960D+01   .4679413480D+00
    .3163926960D+01   .3623119850D+00
0 1 3 4.0 1.0
    .7868272350D+01  -.1193324200D+00   .6899906660D-01
    .1881288540D+01  -.1608541520D+00   .3164239610D+00
    .5442492580D+00   .1143456440D+01   .7443082910D+00
0 1 1 0.0 1.0
    .1687144782D+00   .1000000000D+01   .1000000000D+01
0 3 1 0.0 1.0
    .8000000000D+00   .1000000000D+01
1 3
0 0 3 1.0 1.0
    .1873113696D+02   .3349460434D-01
    .2825394365D+01   .2347269535D+00
    .6401216923D+00   .8137573262D+00
0 0 1 0.0 1.0
    .1612777588D+00   .1000000000D+01
0 2 1 0.0 1.0
    .1100000000D+01   .1000000000D+01
99 0
END
DFT
B3LYP
XLGRID
END
EXCHSIZE
10654700
BIPOSIZE
10654700
TOLINTEG
8 8 8 8 16
SCFDIR
MAXCYCLE
100
TOLDEE
11
GRIMME
1.05 20. 25.
4
1 0.14 1.001
6 1.75 1.452 
7 1.23 1.397
8 0.70 1.342
SHRINK
8 8
LEVSHIFT
5 0
FMIXING
50
END
END

Upon completion of this run, you need only the FREQINFO.DAT file, the last set of coordinates from the .OUT file (for atom counting purposes) and an input file which is modified from the original only in the specification of the ISOTOPES section and which includes a RESTART.

Question - how does one deal with isotopically-labeling atoms when it breaks the space group symmetry? If I isotopically label Atom 1 in the asymmetric unit, what happens to the other N symmetry-related atoms?

Answer - Crystal09, in its infinite wisdom, does not consider the asymmetric unit in the isotopic substitution scheme. If you’ve 14 atoms in the asymmetric unit (the symmetry-unique atoms you provide in the input file)…

14
6      1.016493675797E-01 -4.109909899348E-02 -3.351438244488E-03
6     -6.539109813231E-02 -6.180633576707E-02 -1.110575784790E-02
...
8      2.563441491059E-01 -1.128705054032E-02  1.760581823035E-01
8      2.225071782791E-01  7.736574474011E-02  1.903699942346E-01

and 56 atoms in the full unit cell…

ATOMS IN THE ASYMMETRIC UNIT   14 - ATOMS IN THE UNIT CELL:   56
     ATOM              X/A                 Y/B                 Z/C    
 *******************************************************************************
   1 T   6 C    -1.460999048177E-01  1.393970283287E-01  6.390170683069E-02
   2 F   6 C     1.393970283287E-01 -1.460999048177E-01 -5.719883034171E-02
   3 F   6 C     3.071988303417E-01  1.860982931693E-01  1.106029716713E-01
   4 F   6 C     1.860982931693E-01  3.071988303417E-01  3.960999048177E-01
...
  53 T   8 O     4.522856069554E-02  3.355114277736E-01  1.095029287847E-01
  54 F   8 O     3.355114277736E-01  4.522856069554E-02 -4.902429172538E-01
  55 F   8 O    -2.597570827462E-01  1.404970712153E-01 -8.551142777356E-02
  56 F   8 O     1.404970712153E-01 -2.597570827462E-01  2.047714393045E-01

your ISOTOPES section relies on the numbering of the atoms in the “56 atom” list.

The input file below will calculate an isotopically-labeled vibrational spectrum for 8 of the hydrogen atoms that ends up breaking the unit cell symmetry (which will be more obvious from the produced mode energies). Again, the atom numbers come from the “ATOMS IN THE ASYMMETRIC UNIT” part of the original optimization by which you performed the original normal mode analysis (hopefully).

Test - alpha-HMX 6-31Gdp set DFT/B3LYP FREQ - Isotopic Substitution
CRYSTAL
0 0 0
43
15.14 23.89 5.913 124.3
14
6      1.016493675797E-01 -4.109909899348E-02 -3.351438244488E-03
6     -6.539109813231E-02 -6.180633576707E-02 -1.110575784790E-02
1      9.149797846691E-02 -4.382919469310E-02 -1.860042940246E-01
1      1.558888705857E-01 -6.829708099502E-02  4.595161229829E-02
1     -5.138242817334E-02 -5.844587273099E-02 -1.920922064181E-01
1     -9.781600273101E-02 -1.015710562102E-01  2.063738273292E-02
7      1.992579327285E-02 -5.951921578598E-02  1.040704228546E-01
7      1.232154652110E-01  1.634305404407E-02  5.951841980010E-02
7      2.220759010770E-02 -7.142100857312E-02  3.299259852838E-01
7      2.054067942916E-01  2.817244373261E-02  1.473285310628E-01
8     -4.761487685316E-02 -8.656669456613E-02  4.192568497756E-01
8      9.327421157186E-02 -6.479426971916E-02  4.286363161888E-01
8      2.563441491059E-01 -1.128705054032E-02  1.760581823035E-01
8      2.225071782791E-01  7.736574474011E-02  1.903699942346E-01
FREQCALC
RESTART
ISOTOPES
8
9  2
10 2
11 2
13 2
14 2
15 2
16 2
18 2
INTENS
END
END
8 4
0 0 6 2.0 1.0
 5484.671700         0.1831100000E-02
 825.2349500         0.1395010000E-01
 188.0469600         0.6844510000E-01
 52.96450000         0.2327143000    
 16.89757000         0.4701930000    
 5.799635300         0.3585209000  
0 1 3 6.0 1.0
 15.53961600        -0.1107775000         0.7087430000E-01
 3.599933600        -0.1480263000         0.3397528000    
 1.013761800          1.130767000         0.7271586000    
0 1 1 0.0 1.0
 0.2700058000          1.000000000          1.000000000
0 3 1 0.0 1.0
 0.800000000          1.00000000    
7 4
0 0 6 2.0 1.0
       4173.51100         0.183480000E-02
       627.457900         0.139950000E-01
       142.902100         0.685870000E-01
       40.2343300         0.232241000    
       12.8202100         0.469070000    
       4.39043700         0.360455000    
0 1 3 5.0 1.0
       11.6263580        -0.114961000         0.675800000E-01
       2.71628000        -0.169118000         0.323907000    
      0.772218000          1.14585200         0.740895000    
0 1 1 0.0 1.0
      0.212031300          1.00000000          1.00000000    
0 3 1 0.0 1.0
 0.800000000          1.00000000    
6 4
0 0 6 2.0 1.0
    .3047524880D+04   .1834737130D-02
    .4573695180D+03   .1403732280D-01
    .1039486850D+03   .6884262220D-01
    .2921015530D+02   .2321844430D+00
    .9286662960D+01   .4679413480D+00
    .3163926960D+01   .3623119850D+00
0 1 3 4.0 1.0
    .7868272350D+01  -.1193324200D+00   .6899906660D-01
    .1881288540D+01  -.1608541520D+00   .3164239610D+00
    .5442492580D+00   .1143456440D+01   .7443082910D+00
0 1 1 0.0 1.0
    .1687144782D+00   .1000000000D+01   .1000000000D+01
0 3 1 0.0 1.0
    .8000000000D+00   .1000000000D+01
1 3
0 0 3 1.0 1.0
    .1873113696D+02   .3349460434D-01
    .2825394365D+01   .2347269535D+00
    .6401216923D+00   .8137573262D+00
0 0 1 0.0 1.0
    .1612777588D+00   .1000000000D+01
0 2 1 0.0 1.0
    .1100000000D+01   .1000000000D+01
99 0
END
DFT
B3LYP
XLGRID
END
EXCHSIZE
10654700
BIPOSIZE
10654700
TOLINTEG
8 8 8 8 16
SCFDIR
MAXCYCLE
100
TOLDEE
11
GRIMME
1.05 20. 25.
4
1 0.14 1.001
6 1.75 1.452 
7 1.23 1.397
8 0.70 1.342
SHRINK
8 8
LEVSHIFT
5 0
FMIXING
50
END
END

The difference is in the FREQCALC section, which calls RESTART (to use the FREQINFO.DAT file), ISOTOPES (obvious), the total number of atoms that are having their isotopes changed (8), then the list, containing the atom number and the new mass (here, 2 for deuterium).

The proof is in the high-frequency region, where the last 16 modes (H-atom motion) in the non-deuterated form…

 HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    MODES         EIGV          FREQUENCIES     IRREP  IR   INTENS    RAMAN
             (HARTREE**2)   (CM**-1)     (THZ)             (KM/MOL)
...
  153- 153    0.2003E-03   3106.1384   93.1197  (A2 )   I (     0.00)   A
  154- 154    0.2003E-03   3106.5054   93.1307  (B1 )   A (     0.02)   A
  155- 155    0.2004E-03   3106.5586   93.1323  (A1 )   A (     0.23)   A
  156- 156    0.2004E-03   3106.8420   93.1408  (B2 )   A (     0.48)   A
  157- 157    0.2017E-03   3117.1664   93.4503  (B2 )   A (     1.13)   A
  158- 158    0.2018E-03   3117.4901   93.4600  (B1 )   A (     2.33)   A
  159- 159    0.2021E-03   3120.2876   93.5439  (A1 )   A (   115.24)   A
  160- 160    0.2022E-03   3120.7805   93.5586  (A2 )   I (     0.00)   A
  161- 161    0.2131E-03   3203.6552   96.0432  (A1 )   A (    44.59)   A
  162- 162    0.2131E-03   3203.6581   96.0433  (B2 )   A (   115.98)   A
  163- 163    0.2132E-03   3204.6505   96.0730  (B1 )   A (    15.30)   A
  164- 164    0.2132E-03   3204.8874   96.0801  (A2 )   I (     0.00)   A
  165- 165    0.2157E-03   3223.4669   96.6371  (A1 )   A (    44.98)   A
  166- 166    0.2157E-03   3223.5803   96.6405  (B2 )   A (    27.02)   A
  167- 167    0.2158E-03   3223.8536   96.6487  (B1 )   A (    35.26)   A
  168- 168    0.2158E-03   3224.3355   96.6631  (A2 )   I (     0.00)   A

change to the following last 16 modes (H/D-atom motion) upon deuteration. Note the mode energies split and the mode symmetries go from (A1,A2,B1,B2) to (A). Also note your IR mode intensities change, giving you the complete picture upon isotopic substitution.

 HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    MODES         EIGV          FREQUENCIES     IRREP  IR   INTENS    RAMAN
             (HARTREE**2)   (CM**-1)     (THZ)             (KM/MOL)
...
  153- 153    0.1074E-03   2274.8942   68.1996  (A  )   A (     1.07)   A
  154- 154    0.1075E-03   2275.5949   68.2206  (A  )   A (     3.75)   A
  155- 155    0.1075E-03   2275.7008   68.2238  (A  )   A (     2.93)   A
  156- 156    0.1099E-03   2300.7446   68.9746  (A  )   A (     4.68)   A
  157- 157    0.1148E-03   2351.7846   70.5047  (A  )   A (    11.32)   A
  158- 158    0.1183E-03   2387.0269   71.5613  (A  )   A (    36.17)   A
  159- 159    0.1183E-03   2387.2610   71.5683  (A  )   A (    16.04)   A
  160- 160    0.1184E-03   2387.6687   71.5805  (A  )   A (     3.73)   A
  161- 161    0.2006E-03   3108.6223   93.1942  (A  )   A (     0.93)   A
  162- 162    0.2009E-03   3110.5061   93.2506  (A  )   A (    12.43)   A
  163- 163    0.2009E-03   3110.7567   93.2581  (A  )   A (    13.67)   A
  164- 164    0.2039E-03   3134.0133   93.9554  (A  )   A (    40.48)   A
  165- 165    0.2147E-03   3215.5160   96.3987  (A  )   A (    19.38)   A
  166- 166    0.2157E-03   3223.4291   96.6360  (A  )   A (    35.29)   A
  167- 167    0.2157E-03   3223.5925   96.6409  (A  )   A (    29.50)   A
  168- 168    0.2158E-03   3223.8729   96.6493  (A  )   A (     8.37)   A

The Low-/Room-temperature Forms Of The Lithiated Salt Of 3,6-dihydroxy-2,5-dimethoxy-p-benzoquinone: A Combined Experimental And Dispersion-Corrected Density Functional Study

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

In press, in CrystEngComm (DOI:10.1039/C2CE26523). This is my first full paper completely internet-powered, in that I’ve not physically met any of the other co-authors (also in the internet-powered context, the recent paper on [18]-annulene was written and submitted without sharing a room with Dr. Bruce Hudson, but we’re in the same building, so it doesn’t quite count). Also, one of the few papers for which I had no image generation duties (a rare treat).

The discussion of the very interesting possibilities of molecular redox materials in lithium-ion batteries aside, this paper presents a very thorough example of the power of computational approaches to greatly improve the understanding of solid-state molecular materials by (specifically) 1: overcoming the hydrogen position identification problems inherent in X-ray diffraction methods, 2: reproducing the changes that come with temperature variations in molecular crystals and explaining the origins of those (possibly subtle) changes by way of dispersion-corrected density functional theory, and 3: demonstrating that the nature of intermolecular interactions (specifically hydrogen bonding) can be rigorously cataloged across varied materials using post-optimization tools (in this case, using Carlo Gatti’s excellent TOPOND program).

2013dec20_crysengcommcover

Caption: Issue cover.

Gaëtan Bonnard, Anne-Lise Barrès, Olivier Mentré, Damian G. Allis, Carlo Gatti, Philippe Poizot and Christine Frayret*

Abstract

Following our first experimental and computational study of the room temperature (RT) form of the tetrahydrated 3,6-dihydroxy-2,5-dimethoxy-p-benzoquinone (LiM2DHDMQ⋅4H2O) compound, we have researched the occurrence of hydrogen ordering in a new polymorph at lower temperature. The study of polymorphism for the Li2DHDMQ⋅4H2O phase employs both experimental (single crystal X-ray diffraction) and theoretical approaches. While clues for disorder over one bridging water molecule were observed at RT (beta-form),a fully ordered model within a supercell has been evidenced at 100K (alpha-form) and is discussed in conjunction with the features characterizing the first polymorphic form reported previously. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations augmented with an empirical dispersion correction (DFT-D) were applied for the prediction of the structural and chemical bonding properties of the alpha and beta polymorphs of Li2DHDMQ·4H2O. The relative stability of the two polymorphic systems is evidenced. An insight into the interplay of hydrogen bonding, electrostatic and van der Waals (vdW) interactions in affecting the properties of the two polymorphs is gained. This study also shows how information from DFT-D calculations can be used to augment the information from the experimental crystal diffraction pattern and can so play an active role in crystal structure determination, especially by increasing the reliability and accuracy of H-positioning. These more accurate hydrogen coordinates allowed for a quantification of H-bonding strength through a topological analysis of the electron density (Atoms-in-molecules theory).

Bond Alternation In Infinite Periodic Polyacetylene: Dynamical Treatment Of The Anharmonic Potential

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

In press (DOI:10.1016/j.molstruc.2012.07.051) in the Journal Of Molecular Structure. May go down in history as a hardest-fought paper acceptance. In a similar line of research as the [18]-annulene study, but exploring the infinite limit of geometry and bond length alternation energy barrier for this infinite case. If the numbers are correct, the infinite polyene chains (polyacetylene) do not exhibit bond length alternation because the Peierls’ barrier between the single-double and double-single bond alternate minima is below the vibrational zero-point level. Plenty of ramifications.

Bruce S. Hudson and Damian G. Allis

Abstract. The potential energy of the infinite periodic chain model of polyacetylene (pPA) is symmetric with two equivalent minima separated by the Peierls’ stabilization barrier. In this work it is shown how an energy scale and vibrational energy levels for this highly anharmonic Peierls’ degree of freedom can be estimated. Attention is given to the potential energy increase for large deformations. The Born-Kármán treatment of translational symmetry is applied. Two empirical methods and a direct periodic boundary condition (PBC) density functional theory (DFT) calculations are in semi-quantitative agreement, each leading to the conclusion that pPA has a zero-point level that is above the Peierls’ barrier. The argument does not depend critically on the barrier height or the other parameters of the model or the computation method. It is concluded that pPA will not exhibit bond alternation and that the zero-point average geometry does not preclude possible conductivity.

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