Modeling magnetic interactions in high-valent trinuclear [Mn3(IV)O4]4+ complexes through highly compressed multi-configurational wave functions
In this work we apply a quantum chemical framework, recently designed in our laboratories, to rationalize the low-energy electronic spectrum and the magnetic properties of an homo-valent trinuclear [Mn3(IV)O4]4+ model of the oxygen-evolving center in photosystem II. The method is based on chemically motivated molecular orbital unitary transformations, and the optimization of spin-adapted many-body wave functions, both for ground- and excited-states, in the transformed MO basis. In this basis, the configuration interaction Hamiltonian matrix of exchange-coupled multi-center clusters is extremely sparse and characterized by a unique block diagonal structure. This property leads to highly compressed wave functions (oligo- or single-reference) and crucially enables state-specific optimizations. This work is the first showing that compression and selective targeting of ground- and excited-states wave functions is possible for systems with three magnetic centers that are not exactly half-filled, and that potentially exhibit frustrated spin interactions. The reduced multi-reference character of the wave function greatly simplifies the interpretation of the ground- and excited-state electronic structures, and provides a route for the direct rationalization of magnetic interactions in these compounds, often considered a challenge in polynuclear transition-metal chemistry. In this study, strong electron correlation effects have explicitly been described by conventional and stochastic multiconfigurational methodologies, while dynamic correlation effects have been accounted for by multiconfigurational second order perturbation theory, CASPT2. Ab initio results for the [Mn3(IV)O4]4+ system have been mapped to a three-site Heisenberg model with two magnetic coupling constants. The magnetic coupling constants and the temperature dependence of the effective magnetic moment predicted by the ab initio calculations are in good agreement with the available experimental data, and confirm the antiferromagnetic interaction among the three magnetic centers, while providing a simple and rigorous description of the noncollinearity of the local spins, that characterize most of the low-energy states for this system.