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The LCPQ is based at the University of Toulouse. The research at LCPQ covers a large variety of topics dedicated to Theoretical-mostly Quantum- Chemistry and Theoretical Molecular Physics. The LCPQ is member of FeRMI (Fédération de recherche Matière et Interactions).

Before 2007 => Look at The Quantum Physics Laboratory HAL-LPQ.

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X-ray spectroscopy excites core orbitals, which are typically local, with element-specific energies, yet sensitive to the chemical environment. A new generation of light sources, such as the free-electron laser, allows the extension of numerous spectroscopies to the X-ray domain. The overall objective of this thesis is to explore these new spectroscopies by theory and provide tools for assignment and further understanding. We shall be working within a 4-component relativistic framework, not only to be able to address all elements of the periodic table, but also to take into account that relativistic effects are particularly pronounced in the core regions explored by X-ray spectroscopy. It also turns out that the formalism describing light-matter interaction is greatly simplified by working in such a framework.

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We report experimental differential cross sections (DCSs) for electron impact excitation of bands I to V of benzene at incident energies of 10, 12.5, 15, and 20 eV. They are compared to calculations using the Schwinger multichannel method while accounting for up to 437 open channels. For intermediate scattering angles, the calculations reveal that the most intense band (V) emerges from surprisingly similar contributions from all its underlying states (despite some preference for the dipole-allowed transitions). They further shed light on intricate multichannel couplings between the states of bands I to V and higher-lying Rydberg states. In turn, the measurements support a vibronic coupling mechanism for excitation of bands II and IV and also show an unexpected forward peak in the spin-forbidden transition accounting for band III. Overall, there is decent agreement between theory and experiment at intermediate angles and at lower energies and in terms of the relative DCSs of the five bands. Discrepancies between the present and previous experiment regarding bands IV and V draw attention to the need of additional experimental investigations. We also report measured DCSs for vibrational excitation of combined C–H stretching modes.

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A complete theoretical analysis using first the simple Hückel model followed by more sophisticated multi-reference calculations on a trinuclear Ni(II) complex (Tp#Ni3HHTP), bearing the non-innocent bridging ligand HHTP3−, is carried out. The three semiquinone moieties of HHTP3− couple antiferromagnetically and lead to a single unpaired electron localized on one of the moieties. The calculated exchange coupling integrals together with the zero-field parameters allow, when varied within a certain range, reproducing the experimental data. These results are generalized for two similar other trinuclear complexes containing Ni(II) and Cu(II). The electronic structure of HHTP3− turns out to be independent of both the chemical nature and the geometry of the metal ions. We also establish a direct correlation between the geometrical and the electronic structures of the non-innocent ligand that is consistent with the results of calculations. It allows experimentalists to get insight into the magnetic behavior of this type of complexes by an analysis of their X-ray structure.

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Fullerene C 60 is one of the most iconic forms of carbon found in the interstellar medium (ISM). The interstellar chemistry of carbon-rich components, including fullerenes, is driven by a variety of energetic processes including UV and X-ray irradiation, cosmic-ray (CR) bombardment, electron impact, and shock waves. These violent events strongly alter the particle phase and lead to the release of new molecular species in the gas phase. Only a few experimental studies on the shock processing of cosmic analogs have been conducted so far. We explored in the laboratory the destruction of buckminsterfullerene C 60 using a pressure-driven shock tube coupled with optical diagnostics. Our efforts were first devoted to probing in situ the shock-induced processing of C 60 at high temperatures (≤ 4500 K) by optical emission spectroscopy. The analysis of the spectra points to the massive production of C 2 units. A broad underlying continuum was observed as well and was attributed to the collective visible emission of carbon clusters, generated similarly in large amounts. This proposed assignment was performed with the help of calculated emission spectra of various carbon clusters. The competition between dissociation and radiative relaxation, determined by statistical analysis, alludes to a predominance of clusters with less than 40 carbon atoms. Our laboratory experiments, supported by molecular dynamics simulations performed in the canonical ensemble, suggest that C 60 is very stable, and that high-energy input is required to process it under interstellar low-density conditions and to produce C 2 units and an abundance of intermediate-sized carbon clusters. These results provide some insights into the life cycle of carbon in space. Our findings hint that only J-type shocks with velocities above ~100 km s −1 or C-type shocks with velocities above 9 km s −1 can lead to the destruction of fullerenes. Observational tracers of this process remain elusive, however. Our work confirms the potential of shock tubes for laboratory astrophysics.

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In this work, we investigate the electronic structure of a particular class of carbon nanocones having a pentagonal tip and C5v symmetry. The ground-state nature of the wave function for these structures can be predicted by the recently proposed generalized Hückel rule that extends the original Hückel rule for annulenes to this class of carbon nanocones. In particular, the structures here considered can be classified as closed-shell or anionic/cationic closed-shells, depending on the geometric characteristics of the cone. The goal of this work is to assess the relationship between the electronic configuration of these carbon nanocones and their ability to gain or lose an electron as well as their adsorption capability. For this, the geometry of these structures in the neutral or ionic forms, as well as systems containing either one lithium or fluorine atom, was optimized at the DFT/B3LYP level. It was found that the electron affinity, ionization potential, and the Li or F adsorption energy present an intimate connection to the ground-state wave function character predicted by the generalized Hückel rule. In fact, a peculiar oscillatory energy behavior was discovered, in which the electron affinity, ionization energy, and adsorption energies oscillate with an increase in the nanocone size. The reasoning behind this is that if the anion is closed-shell, then the neutral nanocone will turn out to be a good electron acceptor, increasing the electron affinity and lithium adsorption energy. On the other hand, in the case of a closed-shell cation, this means that the neutral nanocone will easily lose an electron, leading to a smaller ionization potential and higher fluorine adsorption energy.

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