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Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics Study of an Aqueous Solution of [Fe(bpy)3](Cl)2 in the Low-Spin and in the High-Spin States

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journal contribution
posted on 16.12.2015, 16:59 by Latévi Max Lawson Daku, Andreas Hauser
The mechanism of the photoinduced low-spin → high-spin spin crossover is actively being investigated in Fe(II) complexes in solution using ultrafast spectroscopies. These studies accurately inform on the reaction coordinate of the Fe(II) chromophore upon photoexcitation. However, they leave open questions regarding the role of the solvent. Here, we report the description from a fully ab initio molecular dynamics study of the structure of [Fe(bpy)3]2+ in water and of the organization of its solvation shell in the low-spin and the high-spin states. In particular, the low-spin → high-spin change of states is shown to be accompanied (i) by a 0.191 Å lengthening of the Fe−N bond, in agreement with experiment, and (ii) by an increased thermal fluctuation of the molecular edifice, which both result from the weakening of the Fe−N bond. Furthermore, our results suggest that about two water molecules are expelled from the first solvation shell of [Fe(bpy)3]2+, which consists of water molecules intercalated between the bpy ligands.