Indexed on: 03 Jan '15Published on: 03 Jan '15Published in: The Journal of chemical physics
Reaction energies have been calculated for a series of reactions involving UF6, UO3, UO2(OH)2, and UO2F2 using coupled cluster singles and doubles with perturbative triples, CCSD(T), with a series of correlation consistent basis sets, including newly developed pseudopotential (PP)- and all-electron (AE) Douglas-Kroll-Hess-based sets for the U atom. The energies were calculated using a Feller-Peterson-Dixon composite approach in which CCSD(T) complete basis set (CBS) limits were combined with a series of additive contributions for spin-orbit coupling, outer-core correlation, and quantum electrodynamics effects. The calculated reaction enthalpies (both PP and AE) were combined with the accurately known heat of formation of UF6 to determine the enthalpies of formation of UO3, UO2(OH)2, and UO2F2. The contribution to the reaction enthalpies due to correlation of the 5s5p5d electrons of U was observed to be very slowly convergent with basis set and at the CBS limit their impact on the final enthalpies was on the order of 1 kcal/mol or less. For these closed shell molecules, spin-orbit effects contributed about 1 kcal/mol to the final enthalpies. Interestingly, the PP and AE approaches yielded quite different spin-orbit contributions (similar magnitude but opposite in sign), but the total scalar plus spin-orbit results from the two approaches agreed to within ∼1 kcal/mol of each other. The final composite heat of formation for UO2F2 was in excellent agreement with experiment, while the two results obtained for UO3 were just outside the ±2.4 kcal/mol error bars of the currently recommended experimental value. An improved enthalpy of formation (298 K) for UO2(OH)2 is predicted from this work to be -288.7 ± 3 kcal/mol, compared to the currently accepted experimental value of -292.7 ± 6 kcal/mol.