Journal of chemical theory and computation vol:3 issue:6 pages:2243-2257
The theory of EPR hyperfine coupling tensors and NMR nuclear magnetic shielding tensors of open-shell molecules in the limit of vanishing spin-orbit coupling (e.g., for organic radicals) is analyzed in terms of spin and charge current density vector fields. The ab initio calculation of the spin and charge current density response has been implemented at the Restricted Open-Shell Hartree-Fock, Unrestricted Hartree-Fock, and unrestricted GGA-DFT level of theory. On the basis of this formalism, we introduce the definition of nuclear hyperfine coupling density, a scalar function of position providing a partition of the EPR observable over the molecular domain. Ab initio maps of spin and charge current density and hyperfine coupling density for small radicals are presented and discussed in order to illustrate the interpretative advantages of the newly introduced approach. Recent NMR experiments providing evidence for the existence of diatropic ring currents in the open-shell singlet pancake-bonded dimer of the neutral phenalenyl radical are directly assessed via the visualization of the induced current density.