A diabatic representation including both valence nonadiabatic interactions and spin-orbit effects for reaction dynamics

Rosendo Valero, Donald G. Truhlar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


A diabatic representation is convenient in the study of electronically nonadiabatic chemical reactions because the diabatic energies and couplings are smooth functions of the nuclear coordinates and the couplings are scalar quantities. A method called the fourfold way was devised in our group to generate diabatic representations for spin-free electronic states. One drawback of diabatic states computed from the spin-free Hamiltonian, called a valence diabatic representation, for systems in which spin-orbit coupling cannot be ignored is that the couplings between the states are not zero in asymptotic regions, leading to difficulties in the calculation of reaction probabilities and other properties by semiclassical dynamics methods. Here we report an extension of the fourfold way to construct diabatic representations suitable for spin-coupled systems. In this article we formulate the method for the case of even-electron systems that yield pairs of fragments with doublet spin multiplicity. For this type of system, we introduce the further simplification of calculating the triplet diabatic energies in terms of the singlet diabatic energies via Slater's rules and assuming constant ratios of Coulomb to exchange integrals. Furthermore, the valence diabatic couplings in the triplet manifold are taken equal to the singlet ones. An important feature of the method is the introduction of scaling functions, as they allow one to deal with multibond reactions without having to include high-energy diabatic states. The global transformation matrix to the new diabatic representation, called the spin-valence diabatic representation, is constructed as the product of channel-specific transformation matrices, each one taken as the product of an asymptotic transformation matrix and a scaling function that depends on ratios of the spin-orbit splitting and the valence splittings. Thus the underlying basis functions are recoupled into suitable diabatic basis functions in a manner that provides a multibond generalization of the switch between Hund's cases in diatomic spectroscopy. The spin-orbit matrix elements in this representation are taken equal to their atomic values times a scaling function that depends on the internuclear distances. The spin-valence diabatic potential energy matrix is suitable for semiclassical dynamics simulations. Diagonalization of this matrix produces the spin-coupled adiabatic energies. For the sake of illustration, diabatic potential energy matrices are constructed along bond-fission coordinates for the HBr and the BrCH2Cl molecules. Comparison of the spin-coupled adiabatic energies obtained from the spin-valence diabatics with those obtained by ab initio calculations with geometry-dependent spin-orbit matrix elements shows that the new method is sufficiently accurate for practical purposes. The method formulated here should be most useful for systems with a large number of atoms, especially heavy atoms, and/or a large number of spin-coupled electronic states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8536-8551
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number35
StatePublished - Sep 6 2007


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