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Issue 14, 2003
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The electronic spectroscopy of transition metal di-hydrides H2M(CO)4(M = Fe,Os): a theoretical study based on CASSCF/MS-CASPT2 and TD-DFT

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Transition energies to the low-lying singlet electronic excited states of H2M(CO)4 (M = Fe,Os) are calculated at the CASSCF/MS-CASPT2 level of theory using relativistic effective core potentials in the ab initio model potential (AIMP) approach. The main features of the absorption spectra of both molecules differ significantly. The spectrum of H2Fe(CO)4 is dominated by low-lying excited states corresponding mainly to 3dFe → σ*u and 3dFe → σ*g excitations calculated between 39 310 cm−1 (4.9 eV) and 43 210 cm−1 (5.4 eV). These allowed transitions contribute to the shoulder observed in the experimental spectrum around 270 nm (37 040 cm−1) and are responsible for the photoreactivity of H2Fe(CO)4 at 254 nm (39 370 cm−1). In contrast the lowest part of the absorption spectrum of the osmium analog H2Os(CO)4 is characterized by a high density of metal–ligand-charge-transfer (MLCT) states between 47 220 cm−1 (5.9 eV) and 52 430 cm−1 (6.55 eV) and corresponding to 5dOs → π*CO excitations. The transitions corresponding to 5dOs → σ*u and 5dOs → σ*g excitations are displaced to the upper part of the absorption spectrum of H2Os(CO)4 (beyond 60 000 cm−1 or 166 nm) and cannot induce H2 elimination under irradiation at 254 nm like in the iron complex. A series of sigma-bond–ligand-charge-transfer (SBLCT) states corresponding to σg → π*CO and σu → π*CO excitations not present in H2Fe(CO)4 is found exclusively in the spectrum of H2Os(CO)4 beyond 55 000 cm−1. The upper part of the spectrum of H2Fe(CO)4 (below 220 nm) is assigned to intense MLCT transitions corresponding to 3dFe → π*CO excitations. The MS-CASPT2 and TD-DFT methods agree qualitatively as far as the assignment and transition energies of the low-lying states are concerned in both molecules whereas a comparison of the calculated oscillator strengths is more problematic. The transitions are generally underestimated at the TD-DFT level, an effect that is even more pronounced for the charge transfer excitations to the carbonyl ligands. The high density of singlet electronic states in these simple transition metal hydrides carbonyls illustrates the complexity of the electronic spectroscopy in this class of molecules. This explains the poor resolution of these overcrowded spectra and the difficulty in understanding the photoreactivity of these molecules.

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Mar 2003, accepted on 02 Jun 2003 and first published on 18 Jun 2003

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B303239F
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2003,5, 2948-2953
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    The electronic spectroscopy of transition metal di-hydrides H2M(CO)4 (M = Fe,Os): a theoretical study based on CASSCF/MS-CASPT2 and TD-DFT

    V. Vallet, J. Bossert, A. Strich and C. Daniel, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2003, 5, 2948
    DOI: 10.1039/B303239F

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