Conformations, vibrational frequencies and Raman intensities of short-chain fatty acid methyl esters using DFT with 6-31G(d) and Sadlej pVTZ basis sets

R.E. Oakes, James Beattie, Bruce Moss, Steven Bell

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30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Density functional calculations, using B3LPY/6-31G(d) methods, have been used to investigate the conformations and vibrational (Raman) spectra of three short-chain fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) with the formula CnH2nO2 (n = 3-5). In all three FAMEs, the lowest energy conformer has a simple 'all-trans' structure but there are other conformers, with different torsions about the backbone, which lie reasonably close in energy to the global minimum. One result of this is that the solid samples we studied do not appear to consist entirely of the lowest energy conformer. Indeed, to account for the 'extra' bands that were observed in the Raman data but were not predicted for the all-trans conformer, it was necessary to add-in contributions from other conformers before a complete set of vibrational assignments could be made. Provided this was done, the agreement between experimental Raman frequencies and 6-31G(d) values (after scaling) was excellent, RSD = 12.6 cm(-1). However, the agreement between predicted and observed intensities was much less satisfactory. To confirm the validity of the approach followed by the 6-3 1 G(d) basis set, we used a larger basis set, Sadlej pVTZ, and found that these calculations gave accurate Raman intensities and simulated spectra (summed from two different conformers) that were in quantitative agreement with experiment. In addition, the unscaled Sadlej pVTZ, and the scaled 6-3 1 G(d) calculations gave the same vibrational mode assignments for all bands in the experimental data. This work provides the foundation for calculations on longer-chain FAMEs (which are closer to those found as triglycerides in edible fats and oils) because it shows that scaled 6-3 1 G(d) calculations give equally accurate frequency predictions, and the same vibrational mode assignments, as the much more CPU-expensive Sadlej pVTZ basis set calculations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-110
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Molecular Structure: THEOCHEM
Volume586
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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