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Ab initio static and molecular dynamics study of 4-styrylpyridine: Structure, energy and reactivity of the cis and trans isomers in the ground state

Published inChemPhysChem, vol. 8, no. 9, p. 1402-1416
Publication date2007

We report an in-depth theoretical study of 4-styrylpyridine in its singlet S0 ground state. The geometries and the relative stabilities of the trans and cis isomers were investigated within density functional theory (DFT) as well as within Hartree-Fock (HF), second-order Møller-Plesset (MP2), and coupled cluster (CC) theories. The DFT calculations were performed using the B3LYP and PBE functionals, with basis sets of different qualities, and gave results that are very consistent with each other. The molecular structure is thus predicted to be planar at the energy minimum, which is associated with the trans conformation, and to become markedly twisted at the minimum of higher energy, which is associated with the cis conformation. The results of the calculations performed with the post-HF methods approach those obtained with the DFT methods, provided that the level of treatment of the electronic correlation is high enough and that sufficiently flexible basis sets are used. Calculations carried out within DFT also allowed the determination of the geometry and the energy of the molecule at the biradicaloid transition state associated with the thermal cistrans isomerization and at the transition states associated with the enantiomerization of the cis isomer and with the rotations of the pyridinyl and phenyl groups in the trans and cis isomers. Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics simulations were also performed at 50, 150, and 300 K using the PBE functional. The studies allowed us to evidence the highly flexible nature of the molecule in both conformations. In particular, the trans isomer was found to exist mainly in a nonplanar form at finite temperatures, while the rotation of the pyridinyl ring in the cis isomer was incidentally observed to take place within 1 ps during the simulation carried out at 150 K on this isomer.

  • Ab initio calculations
  • Density functional calculations
  • Isomerization
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Transition states
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
LAWSON DAKU, Latevi Max, LINARES, Jorge, BOILLOT, Marie-Laure. Ab initio static and molecular dynamics study of 4-styrylpyridine: Structure, energy and reactivity of the cis and trans isomers in the ground state. In: ChemPhysChem, 2007, vol. 8, n° 9, p. 1402–1416. doi: 10.1002/cphc.200700117
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1439-4235

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