The structure and energetics of the HCN → HNC transition state

Timothy J. Lee, Alistair P. Rendell

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105 Citations (Scopus)


The optimum geometries and quadratic force constants of HCN, HNC and the transition state connecting them have been determined at the single and double excitation coupled-cluster (CCSD) and CCSD(T) levels of theory. Energy differences were evaluated using the CCSD and CCSD(T) methods in conjunction with large atomic natural orbital basis sets containing g-type basis functions on the heavy atoms and f-type functions on hydrogen. The most reliable structure obtained for the transition state has bond distances of 1.194, 1.188 and 1.389 Å for rCN, rCH and rNH, respectively. Including a correction for zero-point vibrational energies, the transition state is predicted to be 44.6 ± 1.0 kcal/mol above the HCN isomer, while HNC is predicted to be 14.4 ± 1.0 kcal/mol above HCN. The latter value is in excellent agreement with the most recent experimental determination (14.8 ± 2.0 kcal/mol).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-497
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Physics Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 1991
Externally publishedYes


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