Microscopic theory of cooperative spin crossover: Interaction of molecular modes with phonons

Andrew Palii, Serghei Ostrovsky, Oleg Reu, Boris Tsukerblat, Silvio Decurtins, Shi Xia Liu, Sophia Klokishner

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25 Scopus citations


In this article, we present a new microscopic theoretical approach to the description of spin crossover in molecular crystals. The spin crossover crystals under consideration are composed of molecular fragments formed by the spin-crossover metal ion and its nearest ligand surrounding and exhibiting well defined localized (molecular) vibrations. As distinguished from the previous models of this phenomenon, the developed approach takes into account the interaction of spin-crossover ions not only with the phonons but also a strong coupling of the electronic shells with molecular modes. This leads to an effective coupling of the local modes with phonons which is shown to be responsible for the cooperative spin transition accompanied by the structural reorganization. The transition is characterized by the two order parameters representing the mean values of the products of electronic diagonal matrices and the coordinates of the local modes for the high- and low-spin states of the spin crossover complex. Finally, we demonstrate that the approach provides a reasonable explanation of the observed spin transition in the [Fe(ptz)6](BF4)2 crystal. The theory well reproduces the observed abrupt low-spin → high-spin transition and the temperature dependence of the high-spin fraction in a wide temperature range as well as the pronounced hysteresis loop. At the same time within the limiting approximations adopted in the developed model, the evaluated high-spin fraction vs. T shows that the cooperative spin-lattice transition proves to be incomplete in the sense that the high-spin fraction does not reach its maximum value at high temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number084502
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 28 Aug 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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