Document Type



Chemistry (HMC)

Publication Date



Two independent methods are presented for the nonperturbative calculation of the electronic coupling matrix element (Hab) for electron transfer reactions using ab initio electronic structure theory. The first is based on the generalized Mulliken–Hush (GMH) model, a multistate generalization of the Mulliken Hush formalism for the electronic coupling. The second is based on the block diagonalization (BD) approach of Cederbaum, Domcke, and co-workers. Detailed quantitative comparisons of the two methods are carried out based on results for (a) several states of the system Zn2OH2+ and (b) the low-lying states of the benzene–Cl atom complex and its contact ion pair. Generally good agreement between the two methods is obtained over a range of geometries. Either method can be applied at an arbitrary nuclear geometry and, as a result, may be used to test the validity of the Condon approximation. Examples of nonmonotonic behavior of the electronic coupling as a function of nuclear coordinates are observed for Zn2OH2+. Both methods also yield a natural definition of the effective distance (rDA) between donor (D) and acceptor (A) sites, in contrast to earlier approaches which required independent estimates of rDA, generally based on molecular structure data.

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© 1997 American Institute of Physics