We have investigated computationally the magnetic spin state of free metalloporphyrins and how magnetic ordering in metalloporphyrins can be induced through contact with the metallic surface and what the origin of the exchange interaction is. To this end, we performed density functional theory (DFT) and DFT + U studies for a series of isolated, ligated as well as unligated Fe-porphyrin (FeP) molecules as well as various FeP molecules on surfaces. Our calculations for isolated FePs clearly demonstrate that the usual DFT-based exchange-correlation functionals (such as the generalized gradient approximation) cannot predict the experimental high-spin ground state of these molecules. Instead, one has to resort to DFT + U calculations with a Coulomb U of about 4 eV on the Fe atoms, to obtain the correct single-molecule spin state. The magnetic interaction between FeP and a Co surface has been studied computationally with the DFT and DFT + U approaches. Our total energy DFT and DFT + U calculations predict an optimal Fe – substrate distance of 3.5 Å and a ferromagnetic exchange coupling of FeP to the substrate, in accordance with recent experiments. For Fe-porphyrin chloride (FePCl), on the other hand, an antiferromagnetic coupling is computed to be more favorable. Our study demonstrates that due to an indirect exchange interaction, which is mediated through the four nitrogen atoms, ferromagnetic ordering on the FeP is stabilized.

We are working at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology Mohali, one of the leading research institutes in India in the field of Nano Science. INST is located in Chandigarh, one of the major cities of India.

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