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Nanotechnology. 2015 Nov 13;26(45):455702. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/26/45/455702. Epub 2015 Oct 16.

The performance of selected semi-empirical and DFT methods in studying Cā‚†ā‚€ fullerene derivatives.

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Laboratory of Environmental Chemometrics, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Gdansk, Wita Stwosza 63, 80-308 Gdansk, Poland.


The capability of reproducing the open circuit voltages (V(oc)) of 15 representative C60 fullerene derivatives was tested using the selected quantum mechanical methods (B3LYP, PM6, and PM7) together with the two one-electron basis sets. Certain theoretical treatments (e.g. PM6) were found to be satisfactory for preliminary estimates of the open circuit voltages (V(oc)), whereas the use of the B3LYP/6-31G(d) approach has been proven to assure highly accurate results. We also examined the structural similarity of 19 fullerene derivatives by employing principle component analysis (PCA). In order to express the structural features of the studied compounds we used molecular descriptors calculated with semi-empirical (PM6 and PM7) and density functional (B3LYP/6-31G(d)) methods separately. In performing PCA, we noticed that semi-empirical methods (i.e. PM6 and PM7) seem satisfactory for molecules, in which one can distinguish the aromatic and the aliphatic parts in the cyclopropane ring of PCBM (phenyl-C61-buteric acid methyl ester) and they significantly overestimate the energy of the highest occupied molecular orbital (E(HOMO)). The use of the B3LYP functional, however, is recommended for studying methanofullerenes, which closely resemble the structure of PCBM, and for their modifications.

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