Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Heats of Formation of Triplet Ethylene, Ethylidene, and Acetylene


Heats of formation of the lowest triplet state of ethylene and the ground triplet state of ethylidene have been predicted by high level electronic structure calculations. Total atomization energies obtained from coupled-cluster CCSD(T) energies extrapolated to the complete basis set limit using correlation consistent basis sets (CBS), plus additional corrections predict the following heats of formation in kcal/mol: Delta H0f(C2H4,3A1) = 80.1 at 0 K and 78.5 at 298 K, and Delta H0f(CH3CH,3A") = 86.8 at 0 K and 85.1 at 298 K, with an error of less than +-1.0 kcal/mol. The vertical and adiabatic singlet-triplet separation energies of ethylene were calculated as Delta ES-T,vert = 104.1 and Delta ES-T,adia = 65.8 kcal/mol. These results are in excellent agreement with recent quantum Monte Carlo (DMC) values of 103.5 +- 0.3 and 66.4 +- 0.3 kcal/mol. Both sets of computational values differ from the experimental estimate of 58 +- 3 kcal/mol for the adiabatic splitting. The computed singlet-triplet gap at 0 K for acetylene is Delta ES-T,adia(C2H2) = 90.5 kcal/mol, which is in notable disagreement with the experimental value of 82.6 kcal/mol. The heat of formation of the triplet is Delta H0f(C2H2,3B2) = 145.3 kcal/mol. There is a systematic underestimation of the singlet-triplet gaps in recent photodecomposition experiments by ~;;7 to 8 kcal/mol. For vinylidene, we predict Delta H0f(H2CC,1A1) = 98.8 kcal/mol at 298 K (exptl. 100.3 +- 4.0), Delta H0f(H2CC,3B2) = 146.2 at 298 K, and an energy gap Delta ES-T-adia(H2CC) = 47.7 kcal/mol.

Main Content
Current View