Valence tautomerism is studied in the [CoII-HS(sq) 2(bpy)]/[CoIII-LS(sq)(cat)(bpy)] mononuclear cobalt complex by using DFT methods (HS, high spin; LS, low spin; cat, catecholate; sq, semiquinone; bpy, 2,2′-bipyridine). Calculations at the B3LYP* level of theory reproduce well the energy gap between the CoII-HS and CoIII-LS forms giving an energy gap of 4.4 kcal/mol, which is comparable to the experimental value of 8.9 kcal/mol. Potential energy surfaces and crossing seams of the electronic states of the doublet, quartet, and sextet spin states are calculated along minimum energy paths connecting the energy minima corresponding to the different spin states. The calculated minimum energy crossing points (MECPs) are located at 8.8 kcal/mol in the doublet/sextet surfaces, at 10.2 kcal/mol in the doublet/quartet surfaces, and at 8.4 kcal/mol in the quartet/sextet surfaces relative to the doublet ground state. Considering the energy of the three spin states and the crossing points, the one-step relaxation mechanism between the CoII-HS and CoIII-LS forms is the most probable. This research shows that mapping MECPs can be a useful strategy to analyze the potential energy surfaces of systems with complex deformation modes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry