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Predicting the NMR Spectra of Paramagnetic Molecules by DFT: Application to Organic Free Radicals and Transition-Metal Complexes



Nuclear shieldings, including the Fermi contact and pseudocontact terms, have been calculated with DFT methods in a variety of open-shell molecules (nitroxides, aryloxyl and various transition-metal complexes), thereby predicting 1H and 13C chemical shifts. In general, when experimental data are reliable a good agreement with experimental values is observed, thus demonstrating the predictive power of DFT also in this context. However, the general accuracy is lower than that for closed-shell species. A few inconsistencies in literature values are reconciled by reassigning some shifts. Structural, magnetic, and dynamic parameters have also been put into the Solomon–Bloembergen equations to predict signal line shapes, in particular those of signals that are difficult to locate or are undetectable. Guidelines are provided to predict the order of magnitude of relaxation rates. It is shown that DFT-predicted paramagnetic shifts can greatly assist in obtaining and understanding the NMR spectra of paramagnetic molecules, which generally require different experimental strategies and exhibit problems in detection and assignment.