Self-interaction corrected density functional theory for the study of intramolecular electron transfer dynamics in radical carbocations
We derived an orbital dependent Kohn-Sham based scheme for the correction of the self-interaction error in DFT, which is particularly suited for the study of open shell molecular systems. Our approach is based on a weighted form of the Perdew and Zunger (PZ) self-interaction correction scheme, in which an empirical coefficient is introduced in front of the SIC term to remove overcorrections. The method is used to investigate the first principle molecular dynamics of the intramolecular electron transfer (IET) in bis(methylene) adamanthyl radical cation and allows the analysis of the free energy surface that governs the IET process at room temperature (300 K). Indeed, the thermal activation of all molecular degrees of freedom provides important additional information about the mechanisms involved in the IET process. Our study confirms and extends previous results obtained with CASSCF and shows that there is no predominant degeneracy-lifting mode even at room temperature. However, we also identified regions in the phase space for which there is a significant probability for a productive IET event. In addition, we performed thermodynamic integrations along selected reaction coordinates to determine an estimate of the activation free energy barrier for the IET process.