Assignment of photoelectron spectra of halide–water clusters: Contrasting patterns of delocalization in Dyson orbitals
Ab initio electron propagator calculations in various self-energy approximations provide accurate assignments of peaks observed in the photoelectron spectra of complexes that comprise a fluoride or chloride anion and two or three water molecules. More than one minimum structure is found in all four cases. When the halide anion is Cl−, the first three final states may be described as quasidegenerate 2P chlorine atoms coordinated to water molecules. Higher final states consist of a chloride anion juxtaposed to a positive charge that is delocalized over the water molecules. For the clusters with fluoride anions, most of the final states correspond to Dyson orbitals that are delocalized over the F and O nuclei. A variety of F–O σ and π bonding and antibonding patterns are evident in the Dyson orbitals. The assignment of low-lying spectral peaks to halide p orbital vacancies or to delocalized solvent orbitals is more valid for the chloride clusters than for the fluoride clusters, where a delocalized picture arises from strong bonding interactions between F 2p and H2O 1b1 orbitals.