Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

Quantum alchemy beyond singlets: Bonding in diatomic molecules with hydrogen



Bonding energies are key for the relative stability of molecules in chemical space. Therefore methods employed to search for relevant molecules in chemical space need to capture the bonding behavior for a wide range of molecules, including radicals. In this work, we investigate the ability of quantum alchemy to do so for exploring hypothetical chemical compounds, here diatomic molecules involving hydrogen with various electronic structures. We evaluate equilibrium bond lengths, ionization ener- gies, and electron affinities of these fundamental systems. We compare and contrast how well manual quantum alchemy calculations, i.e. quantum mechanical calculations in which the nuclear charge is altered, and quantum alchemy approximations using a Taylor series expansion can predict these molecular properties. We also investigate the extent of error cancellation of these approaches in terms of ionization energies and electron affinities when using thermodynamic cycles. Our results suggest that the accuracy of Taylor series expansions are greatly improved by error cancellation in thermodynamic cycles, and errors also appear to be generally system-dependent. Taken together, this work provides insights into how quantum alchemy predictions us- ing a Taylor series expansion may be applied to future studies of non-singlet systems as well as which challenges remain open for these cases.


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Supplementary material

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Supporting Information: Quantum alchemy beyond singlets: Bonding in diatomic molecules with hydrogen
Additional discussion and data