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The valence electronic structure and conformational flexibility of epichlorohydrin

Stranges, S.
Alagia, M.
Decleva, P.
Stener, M.
Fronzoni, G.
Toffolı, Danıele
Speranza, M.
Catone, D.
Turchini, S.
Prosperi, T.
Zema, N.
Contini, G.
Keheyan, Y.
The electronic structure of epichlorohydrin is investigated in the whole valence region by a combined experimental and theoretical study. The issue of controversial assignments of the molecular electronic structure is here addressed. Photoelectron spectra (PES) and Threshold Photoelectron spectra (TPES) of room temperature molecules in the gas phase are recorded. Geometries and energies of the stable conformers due to internal rotation of the C-C-C-Cl dihedral angle, gauche-II (g-II), gauche-I (g-I), and cis, are calculated, and the effect of the conformational flexibility on the photoionization energetics is studied by DFT and 2h-1p Configuration Interaction (CI) methods. Strong breakdown of the Koopmans Theorem (KT) is obtained for the four outermost ionizations, which are further investigated by higher level ab initio calculations. The full assignment of the spectrum is put on a firm basis by the combination of experimental and theoretical results. The orbital composition from correlated calculations is found closer to the DFT orbitals, which are then used to analyze the electronic structure of the molecule. The Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital (HOMO) and HOMO - 2 are n(O)/n(Cl) mixed orbitals. The nature of each valence MO is generally preserved in all the conformers, although the magnitude of the n(O)/n(Cl) mixing in HOMO and HOMO - 2 varies to some extent with the C-C-C-Cl dihedral angle. The low energy part of the HOMO PE band is predicted to be substantially affected by the conformational flexibility, as experimentally observed in the spectra. The rest of the spectrum is described in terms of the dominant conformer g-II, and a good agreement between experiment and theory is found. The inner-valence PE spectrum is characterized by satellite structures, due to electron correlation effects, which are interpreted by means of 2h-1p CI calculations.