Iron porphyrin complexes are cofactors in many important proteins such as cytochromes P450, hemoglobin, heme peroxidases, etc. Many computational studies on these systems have been done over the past decade. In this study, the performance of some of the most commonly used density functional theory functionals is evaluated with regard to how they reproduce experimental structures. Seven different functionals (BP86, PBE, PBE0, TPSS, TPSSH, B3LYP, and B97-D) are used to study eight different iron porphyrin complexes. The results show that the TPSSH, PBE0, and TPSS functionals give the best results (absolute bond distance deviations of 0.015-0.016 A), but the geometries are well-reproduced by all functionals except B3LYP. We also test four different basis sets of double-zeta quality, and we find that a combination of double-zeta basis set of Schafer et al. on the iron atom and the 6-31G* basis set on the other atoms performs best. Finally, we remove the porphyrin side chains and increase the basis set size systematically to see if this affects the results. We show that basis sets larger than double-zeta quality are not necessary to get accurate geometries, and nonaromatic side chains do not affect the geometries.
Keywords: Crystallography, X-Ray; Iron; Ligands; Metalloporphyrins; Models, Molecular; Molecular Conformation; Oxidation-Reduction; Quantum Theory