The formic acid dimer in its C2h-symmetrical cyclic form is stabilized by two equivalent H-bonds. The currently accepted interaction energy is 18.75 kcal/mol whereas the experimental binding energy D0 value is only 14.22 ±0.12 kcal/mol [F. Kollipost, R. W. Larsen, A. V. Domanskaya, M. Nörenberg, and M. A. Suhm, J. Chem. Phys.136, 151101 (2012)]. Calculation of the binding energies De and D0 at the CCSD(T) (Coupled Cluster with Single and Double excitations and perturbative Triple excitations)/CBS (Complete Basis Set) level of theory, utilizing CCSD(T)/CBS geometries and the frequencies of the dimer and monomer, reveals that there is a 3.2 kcal/mol difference between interaction energy and binding energy De, which results from (i) not relaxing the geometry of the monomers upon dissociation of the dimer and (ii) approximating CCSD(T) correlation effects with MP2. The most accurate CCSD(T)/CBS values obtained in this work are De = 15.55 and D0 = 14.32 kcal/mol where the latter binding energy differs from the experimental value by 0.1 kcal/mol. The necessity of employing augmented VQZ and VPZ calculations and relaxing monomer geometries of H-bonded complexes upon dissociation to obtain reliable binding energies is emphasized.

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