A ground state morphed intermolecular potential for the hydrogen bonded and van der Waals isomers in OC:HI and a prediction of an anomalous deuterium isotope effect Academic Article uri icon


  • An extended analysis of the noncovalent interaction OC:HI is reported using microwave and infrared supersonic jet spectroscopic techniques. All available spectroscopic data then provide the basis for generating an accurately determined vibrationally complete semiempirical intermolecular potential function using a four-dimensional potential coordinate morphing methodology. These results are consistent with the existence of four bound isomers: OC-HI, OC-IH, CO-HI, and CO-IH. Analysis also leads to unequivocal characterization of the common isotopic ground state as having the OC-HI structure and with the first excited state having the OC-IH structure with an energy of 3.4683(80) cm(-1) above the ground state. The potential is consistent with the following barriers between the pairs of isomers: 382(4) cm(-1) (OC-IH/OC-HI), 294(5) cm(-1) (CO-IH/CO-HI), 324(3) cm(-1) (OC-IH/CO-IH), and 301(2) cm(-1) (OC-HI/CO-HI) defined with respect to each lower minimum. The potential is also determined to have a linear OC-IH van der Waals global equilibrium minimum structure having R(e)=4.180(11) Å, θ(1)=0.00(1)°, and θ(2)=0.00(1)°. This is differentiated from its OC-HI ground state hydrogen bound structure having R(0)=4.895(1) Å, θ(1)=20.48(1)°, and θ(2)=155.213(1)° where the distances are defined between the centers of mass of the monomers and θ(1) and θ(2) as cos(-1)[(1/2)] for i=1 and 2. A fundamentally new molecular phenomenon - ground state isotopic isomerization is proposed based on the generated semiempirical potential. The protonated ground state hydrogen-bonded OC-HI structure is predicted to be converted on deuteration to the corresponding ground state van der Waals OC-ID isomeric structure. This results in a large anomalous isotope effect in which the R(0) center of mass distance between monomeric components changes from 4.895(1) to 4.286(1) Å. Such a proposed isotopic effect is demonstrated to be a consequence of differential zero point energy factors resulting from the shallower nature of hydrogen bonding at a local potential minimum (greater quartic character of the potential) relative to the corresponding van der Waals global minimum. Further consequences of this anomalous deuterium isotope effect are also discussed.

author list (cited authors)

  • Rivera-Rivera, L. A., Wang, Z., McElmurry, B. A., Willaert, F. F., Lucchese, R. R., Bevan, J. W., Suenram, R. D., & Lovas, F. J.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010 11:11 AM