Theoretical estimation of the activation energy for the reaction HO + H2O → H2O + OH: Importance of tunneling

Michael R. Hand, Christopher F. Rodriquez, Ian H. Williams, Gabriel G. Balint-Kurti

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Ab initio calculations for the potential barrier height for the symmetric H-atom exchange reaction HO + H2O → H2O + OH are reported. A value of 42.2 kJ mol-1 is found using the QCISD(T)/6-311+G(3df,2p) method. Multireference CISD calculations converge toward a similar value for the barrier provided that a Davidson correction is applied. The effect of quantum mechanical tunneling is investigated. Rate constants calculated by using conventional and small-curvature tunneling-corrected transition state theory with the UMP2/ 6-311G(d,p) transition structure and reaction path are compared for a wide range of temperatures. Tunneling reduces the Arrhenius activation energy, obtained from the temperature dependence of the calculated rate constants, by at least 20 kJ mol-1 at 300 K. The best theoretical estimate for the Arrhenius activation energy at 300 K is 21.2 kJ mol-1; the discrepancy between this and the experimental value of 17.6 ± 2 kJ mol-1 is likely to be due to neglect of large-curvature tunneling effects. The QCISD(T)/6-311+G(3df,2p) calculated enthalpy of association of HO + H2O → HO⋯HOH, the hydrogen-bonded precursor complex, is -8.9 kJ mol-1. The best theoretical estimate for the intrinsic barrier height for the symmetric H-atom exchange HO⋯HOH → HOH⋯OH is 25.1 kJ mol-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5958-5966
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number29
Early online date29 Jun 1998
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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