Students at BYU-Idaho receive experience in a computational chemistry study of atmostpheric radicals and radical-water complexes, which results in BYU-Idaho’s first chemistry peer-reviewed publication.

August 29, 2011
Writer: Emily Burrell, Mathew Snow, Heidi Dumais, Seong-Cheol Lee, Brad J. Nielson, Derek Osborne, Lucia Salamanca-Cardona, Logan Zemp, Jared C. Clark, Jaron C. Hansen, PhD, Ryan S. DaBell, PhD

 ABSTRACT: The results of an ab initio study on a family of hydroxy peroxy radical-water complexes formed from the oxidation of E-2-hexenal, which constitutes an important component of biogenic atmospheric emissions, are reported. Binding energies for the b-hydroxy-c-peroxy hexanal (b- and c-positions are relative to the carbonyl) radical-water complex and the c-hydroxy-b-peroxy hexanal radical-water complex are predicted to be to 3.8 and 3.6 kcal/mol, respectively, computed at the MP2/6-311þþG(2d,2p)//B3LYP/ 6-311þþG(2d,2p) computational level. Natural bond orbital reveals that conventional hydrogen bonding between the water and the hydroxy and aldehyde functional groups of the radical are primarily responsible for the stability of the complex. It can be shown that
the peroxy moiety contributes very little to the stability of the radical-water complexes.  Thermochemistry  alculations reveal estimated equilibrium constants that are comparable to those recently reported for several hydroxy isoprene radical-water complexes. The results of this report suggest that the hexanal peroxy radical-water complexes are
expected to play a significant role in the complex chemistry of the atmosphere.

- International Journal of Quantum Chemistry