On the internal rotations in p-cresol in its ground and first electronically excited states

Arnim Hellweg and Christof Hättig
Lehrstuhl für Theoretische Chemie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany

J. Chem. Phys., 127, 024307 (2007).
(Received 4 April 2007; accepted 1 June 2007; published online 12 July 2007)

The overall rotation and internal rotation of p-cresol (4-methyl-phenol) has been studied by comparison of the microwave spectrum with accurate ab initio calculations using the principal axis method in the electronic ground state. Both internal rotations, the torsions of the methyl and the hydroxyl groups relative to the aromatic ring, have been investigated. The internal rotation of the hydroxyl group can be approximately described as the motion of a symmetrical rotor on an asymmetric frame. For the methyl group it has been found that the potential barrier hindering its internal rotation is very small with the first two nonvanishing Fourier coefficients of the potential V-3 and V-6 in the same order of magnitude. Different splittings of b-type transitions for the A and E species of the methyl torsion indicate a top-top interaction between both internal rotors through the benzene ring. An effective coupling potential for the top-top interaction could be estimated. The hindering barriers of the hydroxyl and methyl rotation have been calculated using second-order Moller-Plesset perturbation theory and the approximate coupled-cluster singles-and-doubles model (CC2) in the ground state and using CC2 and the algebraic diagrammatic construction through second order in the first electronically excited state. The results are in excellent agreement with the experimental values. (C) 2007 American Institute of Physics.

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