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Extracting Electron Transfer Coupling Elements From Constrained Density Functional Theory.

Qin Wu, T. Van Voorhis
Published 2006 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Constrained density functional theory (DFT) is a useful tool for studying electron transfer (ET) reactions. It can straightforwardly construct the charge-localized diabatic states and give a direct measure of the inner-sphere reorganization energy. In this work, a method is presented for calculating the electronic coupling matrix element (Hab) based on constrained DFT. This method completely avoids the use of ground-state DFT energies because they are known to irrationally predict fractional electron transfer in many cases. Instead it makes use of the constrained DFT energies and the Kohn-Sham wave functions for the diabatic states in a careful way. Test calculations on the Zn2+ and the benzene-Cl atom systems show that the new prescription yields reasonable agreement with the standard generalized Mulliken-Hush method. We then proceed to produce the diabatic and adiabatic potential energy curves along the reaction pathway for intervalence ET in the tetrathiafulvalene-diquinone (Q-TTF-Q) anion. While the unconstrained DFT curve has no reaction barrier and gives Hab approximately 17 kcal/mol, which qualitatively disagrees with experimental results, the Hab calculated from constrained DFT is about 3 kcalmol and the generated ground state has a barrier height of 1.70 kcal/mol, successfully predicting (Q-TTF-Q)- to be a class II mixed-valence compound.
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