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Systematic Theoretical Study of the Zero-Field Splitting in Coordination Complexes of Mn(III). Density Functional Theory versus Multireference Wave Function Approaches

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Duboc, C., Ganyushin, D., Sivalingam, K., Collomb, M.-N., & Neese, F. (2010). Systematic Theoretical Study of the Zero-Field Splitting in Coordination Complexes of Mn(III). Density Functional Theory versus Multireference Wave Function Approaches. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 114(39), 10750-10758. doi:10.1021/jp107823s.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-103E-1
This paper presents a detailed evaluation of the performance of density functional theory (DFT) as well as complete active space self-consistent field (CASSCF)-based methods (CASSCF and second-order N-electron valence state perturbation theory, NEVPT2) to predict the zero-field splitting (zfs) parameters for a series of coordination complexes containing the Mn(III) ion. The physical origin of the experimentally determined zfs’s was investigated by studying the different contributions to these parameters. To this end, a series of mononuclear Mn(III) complexes was chosen for which the structures have been resolved by X-ray diffraction and the zfs parameters have been accurately determined by high-field EPR spectroscopy. In a second step, small models have been constructed to allow for a systematic assessment of the factors that dominate the variations in the observed zfs parameters and to establish magnetostructural correlations. Among the tested functionals, the best predictions have been obtained with B3LYP, followed by the nonhybrid BP86 functional, which in turn is more successful than the meta-hybrid GGA functional TPSSh. For the estimation of the spin−orbit coupling (SOC) part of the zfs, it was found that the coupled perturbed SOC approach CP is more successful than the Pederson−Khanna method. Concerning the spin−spin interaction (SS), the restricted open-shell Kohn−Sham (ROKS) approach led to a slightly better agreement with the experiment than the unrestricted KS (UKS) approach. The ab initio state-averaged CASSCF (SA-CASSCF) method with a minimal active space and the most recent implementation that treats the SOC and SS contributions on an equal footing provides the best predictions for the zfs. The analysis demonstrates that the major contribution to the axial zfs parameter (D) originates from the SOC interaction but that the SS part is far from being negligible (between 10 and 20% of D). Importantly, the various excited triplet ligand field states account for roughly half of the value of D, contrary to popular ligand field models. Despite covering dynamic correlation contributions to the transition energies, NEVPT2 does not lead to large improvements in the results as the excitation energies of the Mn(III) d−d transitions are already fairly accurate at the SA-CASSCF level. For a given type of coordination sphere (e.g., elongated or compressed octahedron), the magnetic anisotropy of the Mn(III) ion, D, does not appear to be highly sensitive to the nature of the ligands, while the E/D ratio is notably affected by all octahedral distortions. Furthermore, the introduction of different halides into the coordination sphere of Mn(III) only leads to small effects on D. Nevertheless, it appears that oxygen-based ligands afford larger D values than nitrogen-based ligands.