The isomerization reaction HOI → HIO has been investigated using quantum mechanical techniques. The activation energy of the reaction at the CCSD(T) level of theory is 77.0 kcal/mol. Molecular parameters and relative energies of HOI, HIO, five HOI–H₂O complexes, three HIO–H₂O complexes and four transition states have been calculated by the B3LYP method. For isomerization assisted by a single water molecule, the activation energy whereby the water molecule directly facilitates proton transfer during isomerization, reduces to 48.4 kcal/mol. Where the water molecule interacts with the HOI/HIO system by forming hydrogen-bond and/or van der Waals complexes, the activation energy is not significantly reduced.
Chemical Physics Letters Vol. 436, Issue 1-3, p. 68-74