The gas-phase structure of dimethyl peroxide
There has been a disagreement amongst experimentalists and between experimentalists and theoreticians as to the gas-phase structure of dimethyl peroxide. We have investigated this problem with high-level CCSD(T)-F12 and MRCI procedures. There can be no doubt anymore that, at the minimum of the potential energy surface, the COOC fragment has a trans-structure. The dynamical structure of the molecule can, however, be different and be explained by the very slow torsional motion. We have analysed the dynamical structure using numerical wavefunctions of the torsional motion and a fully optimized potential curve of MP2/aug-cc-pVTZ quality. Computational and all experimental results are shown to be in complete agreement. The problem that has persisted for more than thirty years, highlighted in a recent review article by Oberhammer titled “Gas phase structures of peroxides: experiments and computational problems”, has been resolved.