Understanding the Electronic Structure of 4d Metal Complexes: From Molecular Spinors to L-Edge Spectra of a di-Ru Catalyst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


L-2,L-3-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) has demonstrated unique capabilities for the analysis of the electronic structure of di-Ru complexes such as the blue dimer cis,cis-[(Ru2O)-O-III(H2O)(2)(bpy)(4)](4+) water oxidation catalyst. Spectra of the blue dimer and the monomeric [Ru(NH3)(6)](3+) model complex show considerably different splitting of the Ru L-2,L-3 absorption edge, which reflects changes in the relative energies of the Ru 4d orbitals caused by hybridization with a bridging ligand and spin-orbit coupling effects. To aid the interpretation of spectroscopic data, we developed a new approach, which computes L-2,L-3-edges XAS spectra as dipole transitions between molecular spinors of 4d transition metal complexes. This allows for careful inclusion of the spin-orbit coupling effects and the hybridization of the Ru 4d and ligand orbitals. The obtained theoretical Ru L-2,L-3-edge spectra are in close agreement with experiment. Critically, existing single-electron methods (FEFF, FDMNES) broadly used to simulate XAS could not reproduce the experimental Ru L-edge spectra for the [Ru(NH3)(6)](3+) model complex nor for the blue dimer, while charge transfer multiplet (CTM) calculations were not applicable due to the complexity and low symmetry of the blue dimer water oxidation catalyst. We demonstrated that L-edge spectroscopy is informative for analysis of bridging metal complexes. The developed computational approach enhances L-edge spectroscopy as a tool for analysis of the electronic structures of complexes, materials, catalysts, and reactive intermediates with 4d transition metals.


  • Igor Alperovich
  • Grigory Smolentsev
  • Dooshaye Moonshiram
  • Jonah W. Jurss
  • Javier J. Concepcion
  • Thomas J. Meyer
  • Alexander Soldatov
  • Yulia Pushkar
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15786-15794
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Chemical Physics (S) (011001060)