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  1. Abstract Lanthanides in the trivalent oxidation state are typically described using an ionic picture that leads to localized magnetic moments. The hierarchical energy scales associated with trivalent lanthanides produce desirable properties for e.g., molecular magnetism, quantum materials, and quantum transduction. Here, we show that this traditional ionic paradigm breaks down for praseodymium in the tetravalent oxidation state. Synthetic, spectroscopic, and theoretical tools deployed on several solid-state Pr 4+ -oxides uncover the unusual participation of 4 f orbitals in bonding and the anomalous hybridization of the 4 f 1 configuration with ligand valence electrons, analogous to transition metals. The competition between crystal-field and spin-orbit-coupling interactions fundamentally transforms the spin-orbital magnetism of Pr 4+ , which departs from the J eff  = 1/2 limit and resembles that of high-valent actinides. Our results show that Pr 4+ ions are in a class on their own, where the hierarchy of single-ion energy scales can be tailored to explore new correlated phenomena in quantum materials. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 6, 2024
  3. Experimentally conducted reactions between CO 2 and various substrates ( i.e. , ethylenediamine (EDA), ethanolamine (ETA), ethylene glycol (EG), mercaptoethanol (ME), and ethylene dithiol (EDT)) are considered in a computational study. The reactions were previously conducted under harsh conditions utilizing toxic metal catalysts. We computationally utilize Brønsted acidic ionic liquid (IL) [Et 2 NH 2 ]HSO 4 as a catalyst aiming to investigate and propose ‘greener’ pathways for future experimental studies. Computations show that EDA is the best to fixate CO 2 among the tested substrates: the nucleophilic EDA attack on CO 2 is calculated to have a very small energy barrier to overcome (TS1EDA, Δ G ‡ = 1.4 kcal mol −1 ) and form I1EDA (carbamic acid adduct). The formed intermediate is converted to cyclic urea (PEDA, imidazolidin-2-one) via ring closure and dehydration of the concerted transition state (TS2EDA, Δ G ‡ = 32.8 kcal mol −1 ). Solvation model analysis demonstrates that nonpolar solvents (hexane, THF) are better for fixing CO 2 with EDA. Attaching electron-donating and -withdrawing groups to EDA does not reduce the energy barriers. Modifying the IL via changing the anion part (HSO 4 − ) central S atom with 6 A and 5 A group elements (Se, P, and As) shows that a Se-based IL can be utilized for the same purpose. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations reveal that the IL ion pairs can hold substrates and CO 2 molecules via noncovalent interactions to ease nucleophilic attack on CO 2 . 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 22, 2024
  4. Organic radicals possessing an electronic configuration in which the energy of the singly occupied molecular orbital (SOMO) is below the highest doubly occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) level have recently attracted significant interest, both theoretically and experimentally. The peculiar orbital energetics of these SOMO–HOMO inversion (SHI) organic radicals set their electronic properties apart from the more common situation where the SOMO is the highest occupied orbital of the system. This review gives a general perspective on SHI, with key fundamental aspects regarding the electronic and structural factors that govern this particular electronic configuration in organic radicals. Selected examples of reported compounds with SHI are highlighted to establish molecular guidelines for designing this type of radical, and to showcase the potential of SHI radicals in organic spintronics as well as for the development of more stable luminescent radicals for OLED applications. 
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