The 1-D hindered rotor approximation

Jim Pfaendtner, Xinrui Yu, Linda J. Broadbelt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


We offer an overview of the popular one- dimensional (1-D) hindered rotor model that is often used for quantum mechanical treatment of internal rotation. This model is put in context with other methods used for treating anharmonic motions. The 1-D hindered rotor scheme is general for tops of any symmetry and has been used to provide accurate treatment of hindered rotors in a wide range of systems. One obstacle preventing wider use of the model is its lack of incorporation into common electronic structure codes. We have developed an algorithm for consistently treating all tops in a molecule, and we present simple codes which interface with electronic structure codes to provide thermochemical properties (S, C p , H) of individual species and reactions that have been corrected for internal rotations. Finally, we use this approach to give sensible advice about how the model can be used best. We show that dramatic changes in the reduced moment of inertia do not necessarily cause comparable changes in the properties of individual hindered rotors. We demonstrate that the rotational hindrance potential can be accurately determined using relatively coarse step sizes. Finally, we show that internal rotation in transition states can be treated using a "frozen transition state" approximation at a significant computational savings. We also discuss the relationship between calculated properties of hindered rotors and the choice of method and basis set used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)881-898
Number of pages18
JournalTheoretical Chemistry Accounts
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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