Electronic Excitations in Homopolyatomic Bismuth Cations: SpectroscopicMeasurements in Molten Salts and an ab initio CI-Singles Study


The electronic excitations of the low-valence bismuth cluster cations Bi53+, Bi82+, and Bi95+have been studied with experimental and theoretical techniques. The UV-visible spectra of the bismuth ions were measured in acidic chloroaluminate melts (mixture of 1-methyl-3-benzyl imidazolium chloride and AlCl3). The spectra of the Bi53+ and Bi82+ ions agree fairly well with previous reports, but also revealed additional low-energy absorptions. Ab initio methods were employed to assign the experimentally observed electronic transitions of these homopolyatomic bismuth cations. Structures were optimized at the RHF, MP2, and B3LYP levels of theory by using split-valence LANL2DZ basis sets that were augmented with one and two sets of pure d functions. The computed structures agree well with the results of neutron diffraction analyses of melts. Electronically excited states of the three clusters were treated by using the CI-Singles theory. The results of these calculations were used to explain the observed UV-visible spectra. The observed electronic excitations in the UV-visible range are all found to result from transitions involving the molecular orbitals formed by 6p-atomic-orbital overlap. This leads to the necessity of using basis sets that include d-type functions, which allow for an adequate description of the bonding that results from such p-orbital overlap. Spin-orbit coupling becomes increasingly important with increasing atomic number and its consideration is necessary when describing the electronic transitions in clusters of heavy atoms. The calculations show that singlet-triplet transitions, which are made accessible by strong spin-orbit coupling, are responsible for some of the observed absorptions.



Keywords and Phrases

ab initio calculations; Bismuth; Density functional calculations; Excited states; Subvalent compounds; UV-visible spectroscopy

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0947-6539; 1521-3765

Document Type

Article - Journal

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