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Expanding and Testing a Computational Method for Predicting the Ground State Reduction Potentials of Organic Molecules on the Basis of Empirical Correlation to Experiment

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posted on 20.02.2016, 15:36 by Eugene J. Lynch, Amy L. Speelman, Bryce A. Curry, Charles S. Murillo, Jason G. Gillmore
A method for predicting the ground state reduction potentials of organic molecules on the basis of the correlation of computed energy differences between the starting S0 and one-electron-reduced D0 species with experimental reduction potentials in acetonitrile has been expanded to cover 3.5 V of potential range and 74 compounds across 6 broad families of molecules. Utilizing the conductor-like polarizable continuum model of implicit solvent allows a global correlation that is computationally efficient and has improved accuracy, with r2 > 0.98 in all cases and root mean square deviation errors of <90 mV (mean absolute deviations <70 mV) for either B3LYP/6-311+G­(d,p) or B3LYP//6-31G­(d) with an appropriate choice of radii (UAKS or UA0). The correlations are proven to be robust across a wide range of structures and potentials, including four larger (27–28 heavy atoms) and more conformationally flexible photochromic molecules not used in calibrating the correlation. The method is also proven to be robust to a number of minor student “mistakes” or methodological inconsistencies.