Journal of Physical Chemistry B, Vol.118, No.7, 1954-1961, 2014
Crystal Structure and Vibrational Spectra of Poly(trimethylene terephthalate) from Periodic Density Functional Theory Calculations
The crystal structure and the IR spectrum of crystalline poly(trimethylene terephthalate), PTT, have been investigated by means of periodic density functional theory calculations including Grimme's correction for dispersion interactions. Both structural and spectroscopic results have been critically compared to the experimental data taken from the literature, showing very good agreement between theory and the experiments. The previous spectral assignments, based only on experimental investigations, have been revised, and further insights have been obtained. Furthermore, spectroscopic markers of crystallinity or regularity (i.e., of the regular conformation of the polymer chain) have been proposed. In addition to the analysis of the IR spectra, the effect of computational parameters on the crystal structure determination (basis sets and parameters for Grimme's correction) have been analyzed. This work demonstrates that state-of-the-art computational methods can provide an unambiguous description of the structural and vibrational properties of crystalline polymers on the basis of the peculiar intra- and intermolecular interactions occurring in different macromolecular materials.