Reaction-path potential and vibrational frequencies in terms of curvilinear internal coordinates

Charles F. Jackels, Zhen Gu, Donald G. Truhlar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


We present a general formulation that allows physically intuitive curvilinear internal coordinates to be used for the calculation of potential energy expansions and generalized normal-mode vibrational frequencies in reaction-path calculations. The reaction path is defined, as usual, as the minimum-energy path in the mass-scaled Cartesian coordinate system, and curvilinear coordinates are used for vibrational frequency calculations at nonstationary points. The method is well adapted for use in variational transition state theory with semiclassical multidimensional tunneling (VTST/ MT) approximations to calculate thermal rate constants. We present VTST/MT calculations for five reactions, H+H2→H2+H, O+H 2→OH+H, CH3+H2→CH4+H, H+O2→HO2, and Cl+HBr→HCl+Br, to illustrate the use of the new curvilinear coordinates, and we compare the results to calculations employing rectilinear coordinates. We make detailed comparisons not only of the calculated rate constants but also of the vibrationally adiabatic ground-state potential energy curves and bound-state vibrational frequencies as functions of the reaction coordinate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3188-3201
Number of pages14
JournalThe Journal of chemical physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

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