Projects per year
The ability to accurately calculate reaction barrier heights is of central importance to many areas of chemistry. We report an extensive study examining the basis set convergence of post-CCSD(T) contributions (up to CCSDT(Q)) for a diverse set of 28 reaction barrier heights. In contrast to previous studies, we focus here on larger transition structures (TSs) involving 4-7 non-hydrogen atoms. The set of reaction barrier heights includes pericyclic, bipolar cycloaddition, cycloreversion, and multiple-proton transfer reactions. We find that in most cases post-CCSD(T) contributions converge rapidly toward the basis set limit, such that even double-zeta and truncated double-zeta basis sets provide useful estimates of the T-(T) and (Q) contributions, respectively. In addition, we find that due to the tendency of these small basis sets to systematically underestimate the T-(T) and (Q) components, scaling is an effective approach for improving performance. For example, scaling the T-(T)/cc-pVDZ contribution by 1.25 results in an RMSD of merely 0.4 kJ mol(-1) relative to basis set limit reference values from W3lite-F12 theory. Similarly, calculating the (Q) contribution with a cc-pVDZ basis set without d functions and scaling by 1.6 results in an RMSD of 0.5 kJ mol(-1). We also examine the magnitude of post-CCSD(T) contributions for a wide range of TSs. We find that for pericyclic, bipolar cycloaddition, and multiple-proton transfer reactions there is an effective cancellation between the T-(T) and (Q) components (i.e., they have opposite signs and are of similar magnitude), such that overall post-CCSD(T) contributions to the reaction barrier heights are below similar to 1 kJ mol(1) (in absolute value). However, for the barrier heights of cycloreversion reactions, the T-(T) and (Q) components are both negative and large and consequentially post-CCSD(T) contributions reduce the reaction barrier heights by significant amounts ranging between 4.1 and 6.7 kJ mol(-1).