Electronic structure of transition metal ions and clusters

W.M.C., Sameera (2008) Electronic structure of transition metal ions and clusters. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis uses density functional theory (DFT) to explore the electronic structure and reaction mechanisms of open-shell transition metal ions and clusters. The early part of the thesis (Chapters 2 and 3) is devoted to high-valent metal-oxo species, both mono- and bimetallic, while Chapter 4 describes some aspects of copper-catalysed carbon-carbon bond formation. Finally, Chapter 5 highlights the role of DFT in computing magnetic and spectroscopic properties of exchange-coupled iron clusters. Whilst the chemistry contained in the thesis is rather diverse, the underlying theme of open-shell transition metal ions is common to all chapters. Moreover, we are primarily concerned with the ways in which interactions between two or more adjacent open-shells (either two metals or a metal and a ligand radical) control structure and reactivity.

After a brief introduction to relevant theoretical aspects in Chapter 1, we use Chapter 2 to establish a link between the electronic structure of the high-valent Mn(V)=O porphyrin monomer species and their ability to perform oxidation reactions. The reaction profiles for oxidation of a range of substrates depend critically on the electronic structure of the isolated oxidant. Where the electronic ground state is genuinely best described as Mn(V)=O, the interaction between oxidant and substrate is repulsive at large separations, only becoming attractive when the incoming nucleophile approaches close enough to drive an electron out of oxide p manifold. In contrast, where the ground state is better described as an oxyl radical form, Mn(IV)-O.+, the oxidation occurs in sequential one-electron steps, the first of which is barrierless. In Chapter 3, we extend these ideas to bimetallic systems, where the presence of two high-valent manganese centres allows the system to oxidise water. Specifically, we focus on two model systems which have been shown to oxidise water, a Mn-porphyrin-based system synthesised by Naruta and a Mn-based system reported by McKenzie where the ligands contain a mixture of pyridine and carboxylate donors. In both cases, we again find that the emergence of oxyl radical character is the key to the reaction chemistry. However, the radical character is ‘masked’ in the electronic ground states, either by transfer of an electron from the porphyrin ring (Naruta) or by formation of a di-μ-oxo bridge (McKenzie system).

In Chapter 4 we turn our attention to copper chemistry, and the role of copper complexes in catalysing atom transfer radical additions (Kharasch additions). In this reaction, the copper cycles between Cu(I) and Cu(II) oxidation states, and the result is the formation of a new C-C bonds. This Chapter makes extensive use of hybrid QM/MM techniques to model the environment of the copper centre in the target polypyrazolylborate-copper complexes (TpxCu). Finally, in Chapter 5 we consider the electronic structure, magnetic and spectroscopic properties of a pair of exchange-coupled Fe3 clusters, [Fe3(μ3-O)(μ-4-O2N-pz)6X3]2- (where pz = pyrazolato, X = Cl, Br). Our primary goal was to establish how well broken-symmetry DFT is able to reproduce the observed Mössbauer spectroscopic parameters, which are extensively used to identify the chemical environments of iron species and, in the case of mixed-valence clusters, to establish the degree of delocalisation of the additional electrons. In recent years DFT has proved able to compute these parameters with encouraging accuracy, but it is not clear to what extent the known deficiencies in broken-symmetry wavefunctions will compromise this ability. Our work suggests that neither the isomer shift nor the quadrupole splitting are strongly influenced by the nature of the coupling between the metal ions, suggesting that broken-symmetry solutions can be used as a basis for computing these parameters in more complex clusters.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Density Functional Theory, electronic structure, reaction mechanisms, open-shell transition metal ions
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Supervisor's Name: McGrady, Prof. John E.
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: Dr. W. M. C. Sameera
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-1389
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:38
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1389

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