The RISM-SCF and polarizable continuum model (PCM) approaches have been applied to study the conformational equilibrium of 1,2-dichloroethane (DCE) in water. Both the electron correlation effect and basis sets play an important role in the relative energies of the gauche and trans conformers in gas and solution phases. Both PCM and RISM-MP2 methods resulted in a consistent trend with the previous experimental and theoretical studies that the population of the gauche conformer increases in going from the gas phase to the aqueous solution. However, the PCM treatment could not describe the solvent effect completely in that the sign of the relative free energy of the gauche and trans forms is opposite to the most recent experimental and theoretical data, while the RISM-MP2 gives the right sign in the free energy difference. We found that the larger excess chemical potential gain (by ca. -4.1 kcal/mol) for the gauche conformer is large enough to result in the gauche preference of DCE in water, though it has to compensate for more solute reorganization energy (∼1.6 kcal/mol) and overcome the energy difference (∼1.6 kcal/mol) in the gas phase. The radial distribution functions between DCE and the nearest water shows that the electrostatic repulsion between chlorine and oxygen atoms is higher in the trans conformer than in the gauche one, while the attractive interaction between chlorine and hydrogen of water is higher in the gauche conformer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry