Theoretical calculations of physico-chemical and spectroscopic properties of bioinorganic systems: Current limits and perspectives

Tibor András Rokob, Martin Srnec, Lubomír Rulíšek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Citations (Scopus)


In the last decade, we have witnessed substantial progress in the development of quantum chemical methodologies. Simultaneously, robust solvation models and various combined quantum and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) approaches have become an integral part of quantum chemical programs. Along with the steady growth of computer power and, more importantly, the dramatic increase of the computer performance to price ratio, this has led to a situation where computational chemistry, when exercised with the proper amount of diligence and expertise, reproduces, predicts, and complements the experimental data. In this perspective, we review some of the latest achievements in the field of theoretical (quantum) bioinorganic chemistry, concentrating mostly on accurate calculations of the spectroscopic and physico-chemical properties of open-shell bioinorganic systems by wave-function (ab initio) and DFT methods. In our opinion, the one-to-one mapping between the calculated properties and individual molecular structures represents a major advantage of quantum chemical modelling since this type of information is very difficult to obtain experimentally. Once (and only once) the physico-chemical, thermodynamic and spectroscopic properties of complex bioinorganic systems are quantitatively reproduced by theoretical calculations may we consider the outcome of theoretical modelling, such as reaction profiles and the various decompositions of the calculated parameters into individual spatial or physical contributions, to be reliable. In an ideal situation, agreement between theory and experiment may imply that the practical problem at hand, such as the reaction mechanism of the studied metalloprotein, can be considered as essentially solved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5754-5768
Number of pages15
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - May 21 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry

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