Comparative density functional theory and post-Hartree-Fock (CCSD, CASSCF) studies on the electronic structure of halogen nitrites ClONO and BrONO using quantum chemical topology.
In this paper, the electronic structures of cis- and trans-ClONO and BrONO are studied at the CCSD∕aug-cc-pVTZ, CASSCF(14,12)/aug-cc-pVTZ, and B3LYP/aug-cc-pVTZ computational levels. For the Cl-O bond, topological analysis of the electron density field, ρ(r), shows the prevalence of the shared-electron type bond (∇(2)ρ((3,-1)) < 0). The Br-O bond, however, represents the closed-shell interaction (∇(2)ρ((3,-1)) > 0). Topological analysis of the electron localization function, η(r), and electron localizability indicator (ELI-D), (D) (σ)(r), shows that the electronic structure of the central N-O bond is very sensitive to both electron correlation improvements (coupled-cluster single double (CCSD), CASSCF, density functional theory (DFT)) and bond length alteration. Depending on the method used, the N-O bond can be characterized as a "normal" N-O bond with a disynaptic V(N,O) basin (DFT); a protocovalent N-O bond with two monosynaptic, V(N) and V(O), basins (CCSD, CASSCF); or a new type, first discovered for FONO, characterized by a single monosynaptic, V(N) basin (CCSD, DFT). The total basin population oscillates between 0.46-0.96 e (CCSD) and 0.86-1.02 e (CASSCF). The X-O bond is described by the single disynaptic basin, V(X,O), with a basin population between 0.76 and 0.81 e (CCSD) or 0.77 and 0.85 e (CASSCF). Analysis of the localized electron detector distribution for the cis-Cl-O1-N=O2 shows a manifold in the Cl···O2 region, associated with decreased electron density.