Accurate computed spin-state energetics for Co(iii) complexes: implications for modelling homogeneous catalysis

Samuel E. Neale, Dimitrios A. Pantazis*, Stuart A. Macgregor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Co(iii) complexes are increasingly prevalent in homogeneous catalysis. Catalytic cycles involve multiple intermediates, many of which will feature unsaturated metal centres. This raises the possibility of multi-state character along reaction pathways and so requires an accurate approach to calculating spin-state energetics. Here we report an assessment of the performance of DLPNO-CCSD(T) (domain-based local pair natural orbital approximation to coupled cluster theory) against experimental1Co to3Co spin splitting energies for a series of pseudo-octahedral Co(iii) complexes. The alternative NEVPT2 (strongly-contracted n-electron valence perturbation theory) and a range of density functionals are also assessed. DLPNO-CCSD(T) is identified as a highly promising method, with mean absolute deviations (MADs) as small as 1.3 kcal mol-1when Kohn-Sham reference orbitals are used. DLPNO-CCSD(T) out-performs NEVPT2 for which a MAD of 3.5 kcal mol-1can be achieved when a (10,12) active space is employed. Of the nine DFT methods investigated TPSS is the leading functional, with a MAD of 1.9 kcal mol-1. Our results show how DLPNO-CCSD(T) can provide accurate spin state energetics for Co(iii) species in particular and first row transition metal systems in general. DLPNO-CCSD(T) is therefore a promising method for applications in the burgeoning field of homogeneous catalysis based on Co(iii) species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6478-6487
Number of pages10
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2020


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