This paper addresses fundamental issues that arise in the application of the nuclear-electronic orbital (NEO) approach to systems with equivalent quantum nuclei. Our analysis illustrates that Hartree-Fock nuclear wave functions do not provide physically reasonable descriptions of systems comprised of equivalent low-spin fermions or equivalent bosons. The physical basis for this breakdown is that the ionic terms dominate due to the localized nature of the nuclear orbitals. Multiconfigurational wave functions that include only covalent terms provide physically reasonable descriptions of these types of systems. The application of the NEO approach to a variety of chemical systems is presented to elucidate the isotope effects on the geometries and electronic wave functions. Deuteration of hydrogen halides, water, ammonia, and hydronium ion decreases the bond length and the magnitude of negative partial atomic charge on the heavy atom. These results are consistent with experimental spectroscopic data. Deuteration at the beta position for formate anion and a series of amines increases the magnitude of negative partial atomic charge on the protonation site for the unprotonated species. This observation is consistent with the experimentally observed increase in basicity upon deuteration at the beta position for carboxylic acids and amines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry