The accurate description of magnetic level energetics in oligonuclear exchange-coupled transition-metal complexes remains a formidable challenge for quantum chemistry. The density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) brings such systems for the first time easily within reach of multireference wave function methods by enabling the use of unprecedentedly large active spaces. But does this guarantee systematic improvement in predictive ability and, if so, under which conditions? We identify operational parameters in the use of DMRG using as a test system an experimentally characterized mixed-valence bis-μ-oxo/μ-acetato Mn(III,IV) dimer, a model for the oxygen-evolving complex of photosystem II. A complete active space of all metal 3d and bridge 2p orbitals proved to be the smallest meaningful starting point; this is readily accessible with DMRG and greatly improves on the unrealistic metal-only configuration interaction or complete active space self-consistent field (CASSCF) values. Orbital optimization is critical for stabilizing the antiferromagnetic state, while a state-averaged approach over all spin states involved is required to avoid artificial deviations from isotropic behavior that are associated with state-specific calculations. Selective inclusion of localized orbital subspaces enables probing the relative contributions of different ligands and distinct superexchange pathways. Overall, however, full-valence DMRG-CASSCF calculations fall short of providing a quantitative description of the exchange coupling owing to insufficient recovery of dynamic correlation. Quantitatively accurate results can be achieved through a DMRG implementation of second order N-electron valence perturbation theory (NEVPT2) in conjunction with a full-valence metal and ligand active space. Perspectives for future applications of DMRG-CASSCF/NEVPT2 to exchange coupling in oligonuclear clusters are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry