Redox potentials of aryl derivatives from hybrid functional based first principles molecular dynamics
We report the redox potentials of a set of organic aryl molecules, including quinones, juglone, tyrosine and tryptophan, calculated using a first principles molecular dynamics (FPMD) based method. The hybrid functional HSE06 reproduces the redox potentials spanning from −0.25 V to 1.15 V within an error of 0.2 V, whereas the errors with the BLYP functional are much larger (up to 0.7 V). It is found that the BLYP functional predicts consistently lower electron affinities/ionization potentials than HSE06 both in gas phase and in an aqueous solution. In water, the ionization potentials are significantly underestimated by BLYP due to the exaggeration of the mixing between the solute states and the valence band states of liquid water. Hybrid HSE06 markedly improves both the solute levels and water band positions, leading to accurate redox potentials. This study suggests that the current FPMD based method at the level of hybrid functionals is able to accurately compute the redox potentials of a wide spectrum of organic molecules.