Theoretical studies of hydride transfer reactivity: transition structures and the origin of chemical reaction barriers

Ian H. Williams, Ann E. Pain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The second-order Jahn-Teller effect provides a viewpoint on the origin of a chemical reaction barrier which is entirely complementary to the view that the barrier arises from an avoided crossing between reactant-like and product-like wavefunctions. The link between these alternative pictures is the existence of a low lying excited state of a transition structure on the ground state potential energy surface: this excited state species is at a minimum of energy with respect to displacement along the reaction coordinate. These ideas are illustrated by ab initio restricted open-shell Hartree-Fock (ROHF) and complete active space self-consistent field (CASSCF) calculated results for transition structures of the symmetrical hydride transfer reaction between methanimine and formonitrilium cation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-347
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular Structure: THEOCHEM
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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