Valence and Core Photoelectron Spectra of Aqueous I 3 − from Multi-Reference Quantum Chemistry
The I 3 − molecule is known to undergo substantial structural reorganization upon solvation by a protic solvent, e.g., water. However, the details of this process are still controversially discussed in the literature. In the present study, we combined experimental and theoretical efforts to disentangle this controversy. The valence (5p), N 4 , 5 (4d), and M 4 , 5 (3d) edge photoelectron spectra were measured in an aqueous solution and computed using high-level multi-reference methods. Our previous publication mainly focused on obtaining reliable experimental evidence, whereas in the present article, we focused primarily on theoretical aspects. The complex electronic structure of I 3 − requires the inclusion of both static and dynamic correlation, e.g., via the multi-configurational perturbation theory treatment. However, the resulting photoelectron spectra appear to be very sensitive to problems with variational stability and intruder states. We attempted to obtain artifact-free spectra, allowing for a more reliable interpretation of experiments. Finally, we concluded that the 3d Photoelectron Spectrum (PES) is particularly informative, evidencing an almost linear structure with a smaller degree of bond asymmetry than previously reported.