Inorganic Chemistry, Vol.58, No.16, 10769-10777, 2019
In-Depth Theoretical Probe into Novel Mixed-Metal Uranium-Based Endohedral Clusterfullerenes Sc2UX@I-h(31924)-C-80 (X = C, N)
Mixed-metal uranium-based endohedral clusterfullerenes, Sc2UX@C-80 (X = C, N), which were recently reported in experiments, have been investigated considering heptagon containing isomers by density functional theory calculations in conjunction with statistical thermodynamic analysis. The triplet Sc2UC@I-h(31924)-C-80 and quartet Sc2UN@I-h(31924)-C-80, named after the spiral number (31924), are found to be thermodynamically stable and satisfy aromaticity rules. Furthermore, the restricted movements of the Sc2UX (X = C, N) cluster in I-h(31924)-C-80 have been demonstrated via ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. The six-electron transfer from the inner cluster to the cage results in the electronic structures (Sc2UX)(6+)@C-80(6-) (X = C, N), which were also confirmed by natural bond orbital analysis. On the basis of the frontier molecular orbitals, the oxidation states of uranium in Sc2UC@C-80 and Sc2UN@C-80 are +IV and +III, respectively, with residual electrons in 5f orbitals of U. The chemical bond between U and C (N) of the inner cluster is characterized as a double bond (single bond) by an analysis of the Mayer bond orders. There are covalent interactions between the inner cluster and outer cage, which is clarified by the quantum theory of atoms in molecules. IR spectra of the optimal isomers have also been simulated, which show the clear difference between Sc2UX@C-80 (X = C, N). These findings, together with simulated results, are expected to supply useful information in future experiments of mixed-metal uranium-based endohedral clusterfullerenes.