U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



The Journal of Chemical Physics 136, 144109 (2012); doi: 10.1063/1.3700801


The correlation consistent composite approach (ccCA), using the S4 complete basis set two-point extrapolation scheme (ccCA-S4), has been modified to incorporate the left-eigenstate completely renormalized coupled cluster method, including singles, doubles, and non-iterative triples (CR-CC(2,3)) as the highest level component. The new ccCA-CC(2,3) method predicts thermodynamic properties with an accuracy that is similar to that of the original ccCA-S4 method. At the same time, the inclusion of the single-reference CR-CC(2,3) approach provides a ccCA scheme that can correctly treat reaction pathways that contain certain classes of multi-reference species such as diradicals, which would normally need to be treated by more computationally demanding multi-reference methods. The new ccCA-CC(2,3) method produces a mean absolute deviation of 1.7 kcal/mol for predicted heats of formation at 298 K, based on calibration with the G2/97 set of 148 molecules, which is comparable to that of 1.0 kcal/mol obtained using the ccCA-S4 method, while significantly improving the performance of the ccCA-S4 approach in calculations involving more demanding radical and diradical species. Both the ccCA-CC(2,3) and ccCA-S4 composite methods are used to characterize the conrotatory and disrotatory isomerization pathways of bicyclo[1.1.0]butane to trans-1,3-butadiene, for which conventional coupled cluster methods, such as the CCSD(T) approach used in the ccCA-S4 model and, in consequence, the ccCA-S4 method itself might fail by incorrectly placing the disrotatory pathway below the conrotatory one. The ccCA-CC(2,3) scheme provides correct pathway ordering while providing an accurate description of the activation and reaction energies characterizing the lowest-energy conrotatory pathway. The ccCA-CC(2,3) method is thus a viable method for the analyses of reaction mechanisms that have significant multi-reference character, and presents a generally less computationally intensive alternative to true multi-reference methods, with computer costs and ease of use that are similar to those that characterize the more established, CCSD(T)-based, ccCA-S4 methodology.