Inorganic Molecular Electride Mg4O3: Structure, Bonding, and Nonlinear Optical Properties

Document Type


Journal/Book Title

Chemistry - A European Journal

Publication Date



Wiley - V C H Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA

Award Number

NSF, Division of Chemistry (CHE) 1664379


NSF, Division of Chemistry (CHE)





First Page


Last Page



Growing demands of material science and, in particular, in the field of nonlinear optics (NLO) encourage us to look for stable highly polarizable molecules with excess diffuse electrons. An unusual class of compounds called electrides comply with these requirements. Many attempts have been made, yet only few electrides have been synthesized as solids and none of them as molecular species. In this paper, a new theoretically designed molecular species with electride characteristics is reported. The idea of this molecular electride comes from the formation of electride‐like features in the MgO crystal with defect F‐centers. The geometry of the investigated molecule can be described as a Mg4O4 cube with one oxygen atom removed. In Mg4O3, two 3s electrons are pushed out from the inner area of the molecule forming a diffuse electride multicentered bond. Our calculations show that this electride‐like cluster possesses a noticeably large first hyperpolarizability β=5733 au. At the same time, a complete cube Mg4O4 and Mg4O32+ without electride electron pair have much smaller β: 0 au and 741 au, respectively. This fact indicates the decisive role of the electride electron pair in NLO properties. Additionally, vertical detachment energies of isomers (VDE), excitation energies ΔE, polarizabilities α, and IR spectra were calculated. These properties, including β, are supposed to be observable experimentally and can serve as indirect evidence of the stable molecular electride formation.