January 13, 2023
Journal Article

Modeling absolute redox potentials of ferrocene in the condensed phase


Absolute thermodynamic quantities for critical chemical reactions are needed to determine the role of solvents and reactive environments in catalysis and electrocatalysis beyond the relative scales typically employed. In principle, theoretical methods can provide such quantification but are often hindered by the innate complexity of strong electron correlation and dynamic relaxation of solvent environments. We present and validate a protocol for calculating the redox potentials of ferrocene/ferrocenium redox pair in the acetonitrile. Equation-of-motion ionization potential coupled-cluster single-double (EOM-IP-CCSD) and effective fragment potential (EFP) methods are used to characterize the adiabatic and vertical ionization potentials (IP) as well as the electron affinity processes. We benchmark molecular mechanics against the EFP model to show the differences in ferrocene electronic polarizability in two redox states. Our best estimate of the redox potential (4.94 eV) agrees well with the experimental value (4.93 eV). This demonstrated the ability of modern computational methods to predict absolute redox potentials quantitatively and, more critically, quantify the correlation of dynamic effects, which underlie their origin.

Published: January 13, 2023


Makos M.Z., P. Gurunathan, S. Raugei, K. Kowalski, V. Glezakou, and R.J. Rousseau. 2022. Modeling absolute redox potentials of ferrocene in the condensed phase. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 13, no. 42:10005–10010. PNNL-SA-172051. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.2c02447

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