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Electron Correlation

Xu, L. T.; Dunning, T. H., Jr. The Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Role of non-Dynamical and Dynamical Correlation in Be2. J. Chem. Phys. 2020, 152, 214111.

In the spin-coupled generalized valence bond (SCGVB) description of Be2 , there is a pair of electrons in highly overlapping “inner” orbitals corresponding to a traditional σ bond, but this bond is compromised by Pauli repulsion arising from its overlap with a second “outer” pair. The presence of this outer pair of electrons leads to a repulsive potential energy curve at long range and a bound, but metastable molecule at short range. To obtain further insights into the nature of the bond in Be2 , we determined the non-dynamical and dynamical correlation contributions to the potential energy curve of Be2 using four different choices for the zero-order wave function: Restricted Hartree–Fock (RHF), SCGVB, valence-CASSCF(4,4), and valence-CASSCF(4,8). The SCGVB and valence-CASSCF(4,4) wave functions yield similar breakdowns of the total correlation energy, with non-dynamical correlation being the more important contribution. For the RHF and valence-CASSCF(4,8) wave functions, dynamical correlation is critical, without which the potential energy curve is purely repulsive. High accuracy calculations on the HBen−1Be–BeBen−1H molecule as a function of n (n = 1–6) suggest that the intrinsic strength of a Be–Be σ bond uncompromised by Pauli repulsion is on the order of 62–63 kcal/mol, and its length is 2.13–2.14 Å, ∼60 kcal/mol stronger and ∼0.35 Å shorter than in Be2.

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