A quantum mechanical insight into SN2 reactions: Semiclassical initial value representation calculations of vibrational features of the Cl-...CH3Cl pre-reaction complex with the VENUS suite of codes

Xinyou Ma, Giovanni Di Liberto, Riccardo Conte, William L. Hase, Michele Ceotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The role of vibrational excitation of reactants in driving reactions involving polyatomic species has been often studied by means of classical or quasi-classical trajectory simulations. We propose a different approach based on investigation of vibrational features of the Cl-â»CH3Cl pre-reaction complex for the Cl- + CH3Cl SN2 reaction. We present vibrational power spectra and frequency estimates for the title pre-reaction complex calculated at the level of classical, semiclassical, and second-order vibrational perturbation theory on a pre-existing analytical potential energy surface. The main goals of the paper are the study of anharmonic effects and understanding of vibrational couplings that permit energy transfer between the collisional kinetic energy and the internal vibrations of the reactants. We provide both classical and quantum pictures of intermode couplings and show that the SN2 mechanism is favored by the coupling of a C-Cl bend involving the Cl- projectile with the CH3 rocking motion of the target molecule. We also illustrate how the routines needed for semiclassical vibrational spectroscopy simulations can be interfaced in a user-friendly way to pre-existing molecular dynamics software. In particular, we present an implementation of semiclassical spectroscopy into the VENUS suite of codes, thus providing a useful computational tool for users who are not experts of semiclassical dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number164113
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Oct 28 2018

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A quantum mechanical insight into S<sub>N</sub>2 reactions: Semiclassical initial value representation calculations of vibrational features of the Cl<sup>-</sup>...CH<sub>3</sub>Cl pre-reaction complex with the VENUS suite of codes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this