Quantum chemical calculation of vibrational spectra of large molecules—Raman and IR spectra for Buckminsterfullerene



In this work we demonstrate how different modern quantum chemical methods can be efficiently combined and applied for the calculation of the vibrational modes and spectra of large molecules. We are aiming at harmonic force fields, and infrared as well as Raman intensities within the double harmonic approximation, because consideration of higher order terms is only feasible for small molecules. In particular, density functional methods have evolved to a powerful quantum chemical tool for the determination of the electronic structure of molecules in the last decade. Underlying theoretical concepts for the calculation of intensities are reviewed, emphasizing necessary approximations and formal aspects of the introduced quantities, which are often not explicated in detail in elementary treatments of this topic. It is shown how complex quantum chemistry program packages can be interfaced to new programs in order to calculate IR and Raman spectra. The advantages of numerical differentiation of analytical gradients, dipole moments, and static, as well as dynamic polarizabilities, are pointed out. We carefully investigate the influence of the basis set size on polarizabilities and their spatial derivatives. This leads us to the construction of a hybrid basis set, which is equally well suited for the calculation of vibrational frequencies and Raman intensities. The efficiency is demonstrated for the highly symmetric C60, for which we present the first all-electron density functional calculation of its Raman spectrum. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comput Chem 9: 895–910, 2002