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Quantum Chemical Modeling of Pressure‐Induced Spin Crossover in Octahedral Metal‐Ligand Complexes


Spin state switching on external stimuli is a phenomenon with wide applicability, ranging from molecular electronics to gas activation in nanoporous frameworks. Here, we model the spin crossover as a function of the hydrostatic pressure in octahedrally coordinated transition metal centers by applying a field of effective nuclear forces that compress the molecule towards its centroid. For spin crossover in first-row transition metals coordinated by hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon monoxide, we find the pressure required for spin transition to be a function of the ligand position in the spectrochemical sequence. While pressures on the order of 1 GPa are required to flip spins in homogeneously ligated octahedral sites, we demonstrate a fivefold decrease in spin transition pressure for the archetypal strong field ligand carbon monoxide in octahedrally coordinated Fe2+ in [Fe(II)(NH3 )5 CO]2+ .

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