Coinage metal exciplexes with helium atoms: a theoretical study of M*(2L)Hen (M = Cu, Ag, Au; L = P,D)
The structure and energetics of exciplexes M*(2L)Hen (M = Cu, Ag and Au; L = P and D) in their vibrational ground state are studied by employing diffusion Monte Carlo (DMC). Interaction potentials between the excited coinage metals and He atoms are built using the Diatomics-in-Molecule (DIM) approach and ab initio potential curves for the M(2L)–He dimers. Extending our previous work [Cargnoni et al., J. Phys. Chem. A, 2011, 115, 7141], we computed the dimer potential for Au in the 2P and 2D states, as well for Cu and Ag in the 2D state, employing basis set superposition error-corrected Configuration Interaction calculations. We found that the 2Π potential correlating with the 2P state of Au is substantially less binding than for Ag and Cu, a trend well supported by the M+ ionic radiuses. Conversely, the interaction potentials between a (n − 1)d9ns2 2D metal and He present a very weak dependency on M itself or the projection of the angular momentum along the dimer axis. This is due to the screening exerted by the ns2 electrons on the hole in the (n − 1)d shell. Including the spin–orbit coupling perturbatively in the DIM energy matrix has a major effect on the lowest potential energy surface of the 2P manifold, the one for Cu allowing the formation of a “belt” of five He atoms while the one for Au being completely repulsive. Conversely, spin–orbit coupling has only a weak effect on the 2D manifold due to the nearly degenerate nature of the diatomic potentials. Structural and energetic results from DMC have been used to support experimental indications for the formation of metastable exciplexes or the opening of non-radiative depopulation channels in bulk and cold gaseous He.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Spectroscopy and dynamics of medium-sized molecules and clusters