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[en] The aim of the present work is to demonstrate that combined spectral tuning of fluorescence and two-photon absorption (TPA) properties of multipolar chromophores can be achieved by introduction of slight electronic chemical dissymmetry. In that perspective, two novel series of structurally related chromophores have been designed and studied: a first series based on rod-like quadrupolar chromophores bearing different electron-donating (D) end groups and a second series based on three-branched octupolar chromophores built from a trigonal donating moiety and bearing various acceptor (A) peripheral groups. The influence of the electronic dissymmetry is investigated by combined experimental and theoretical studies of the linear and nonlinear optical properties of dissymmetric chromophores compared to their symmetrical counterparts. In both types of systems (i.e. quadrupoles and octupoles) experiments and theory reveal that excitation is essentially delocalized and that excitation involves synchronized charge redistribution between the different D and A moieties within the multipolar structure (i.e. concerted intramolecular charge transfer). In contrast, the emission stems only from a particular dipolar subunit bearing the strongest D or A moieties due to fast excitation localization after excitation prior to emission. Hence control of emission characteristics (polarization and emission spectrum) in addition to localization can be achieved by controlled introduction of electronic dissymmetry (i.e. replacement of one of the D or A end-groups by a slightly stronger D(prime) or A(prime) units). Interestingly dissymmetrical functionalization of both quadrupolar and octupolar compounds does not lead to significant loss in TPA responses and can even be beneficial due to the spectral broadening and peak position tuning that it allows. This study thus reveals an original molecular engineering route strategy allowing major TPA enhancement in multipolar structures due to concerted multidimensional ICT while providing for spatial control of emission localization. Such route could be extended to more intricate (dendritic) and multipolar systems (3D).
[en] We report electronic structure calculations of finite-length semiconducting carbon nanotubes using the time dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) and the time dependent Hartree Fock (TD-HF) approach coupled with semiempirical AM1 and ZINDO Hamiltonians. We specifically focus on the energy splitting, relative ordering, and localization properties of the optically active (bright) and optically forbidden (dark) states from the lowest excitonic band of the nanotubes. These excitonic states are very important in competing radiative and non-radiative processes in these systems. Our analysis of excitonic transition density matrices demonstrates that pure DFT functionals overdelocalize excitons making an electron-hole pair unbound; consequently, excitonic features are not presented in this method. In contrast, the pure HF and A111 calculations overbind excitons inaccurately predicting the lowest energy state as a bright exciton. Changing AM1 with ZINDO Hamiltonian in TD-HF calculations, predicts the bright exciton as the second state after the dark one. However, in contrast to AM1 calculations, the diameter dependence of the excitation energies obtained by ZINDO does not follow the experimental trends. Finally, the TD-DFT approach incorporating hybrid functions with a moderate portion of the long-range HF exchange, such as B3LYP, has the most generality and predictive capacity providing a sufficiently accurate description of excitonic structure in finite-size nanotubes. These methods characterize four important lower exciton bands. The lowest state is dark, the upper band is bright, and the two other dark and nearly degenerate excitons lie in-between. Although the calculated energy splittings between the lowest dark and the bright excitons are relatively large (∼0.1 eV), the dense excitonic manifold below the bright exciton allows for fast non-radiative relaxation leasing to the fast population of the lowest dark exciton. This rationalizes the low luminescence efficiency in nanotubes.
[en] Expanding on previous work, we examine in detail the impact passivating ligands have on the electronic properties of CdSe quantum dots (QDs). We also explore the importance of the inclusion of solvent in simulating passivated QDs. Most ligand states are found well removed from the band edges, with pyridine being the exception and contributing states that sit right on the conduction band edge. Localized trap states are found for trimethylphosphine and pyridine capped QDs, with solvent helping to eliminate these. The effect of losing a ligand on the electronic properties of the system is observed to vary in proportion with the binding energy and steric bulk of the ligand. More disruption of the electronic properties is seen for tight-binding, sterically large ligands. We also look at the validity of using the single-particle Kohn-Sham (KS) representation to approximate optical absorption spectra. Besides a systematic blue-shift relative to the time-dependent density functional theory spectra, the KS spectra are in very good agreement with the more accurate method for these systems. Such agreement here justifies the use of the KS approach for calculating absorption spectra of QD systems.
[en] Studying non-adiabatic effects in molecular dynamics simulations and modeling their optical signatures in linear and non-linear spectroscopies calls for electronic structure calculations in a situation when the ground state is degenerate or almost degenerate. Such degeneracy causes serious problems in invoking single Slater determinant Hartree-Fock (HF) and density functional theory (DFT) methods. To resolve this problem, we develop a generalization of time-dependent (dynamical) variational approach which accounts for the degenerate or almost degenerate ground state structure. Specifically, we propose a ground state ansatz for the subspace of generalized electronic configurations spanned on the degenerate grounds state multi-electron wavefunctions. Further employing the invariant form of Hamilton dynamics we arrive with the classical equations of motion describing the time-evolution of this subspace in the vicinity of the stationary point. The developed approach can be used for accurate calculations of molecular excited states and electronic spectra in the degenerate case
[en] The efficiency of materials developed for solar energy and technological applications depends on the interplay between molecular architecture and light-induced electronic energy redistribution. The spatial localization of electronic excitations is very sensitive to molecular distortions. Vibrational nuclear motions can couple to electronic dynamics driving changes in localization. The electronic energy transfer among multiple chromophores arises from several distinct mechanisms that can give rise to experimentally measured signals. Atomistic simulations of coupled electron-vibrational dynamics can help uncover the nuclear motions directing energy flow. Through careful analysis of excited state wave function evolution and a useful fragmenting of multichromophore systems, through-bond transport and exciton hopping (through-space) mechanisms can be distinguished. Such insights are crucial in the interpretation of fluorescence anisotropy measurements and can aid materials design. Finally, this Perspective highlights the interconnected vibrational and electronic motions at the foundation of nonadiabatic dynamics where nuclear motions, including torsional rotations and bond vibrations, drive electronic transitions.
[en] By applying nonadiabatic excited-state molecular dynamics, we investigate excitation energy transfer and exciton localization dynamics in a chlorophyll a (Chla) dimer system at the interface of two monomers of light-harvesting complex II trimer. After its optical excitation at the red edge of the Soret (B) band, the Chla dimer experiences an ultrafast intra- and intermolecular nonradiative relaxation process to the lowest band (Qy). The energy relaxation is found to run faster in the Chla dimer than in the Chla monomer. Once the molecular system reaches the lowest Qy band composed of two lowest excited states S1 and S2, the concluding relaxation step involves the S2 → S1 population transfer, resulting in a relatively slower relaxation rate. The strength of thermal fluctuations exceeds intraband electronic coupling between the states belonging to a certain band (B, Qx, and Qy), producing localized states on individual chromophores. Therefore, time evolution of spatial electronic localization during internal conversion reveals transient trapping on one of the Chla monomers participating in the events of intermonomeric energy exchange. In the phase space domains where electronic states are strongly coupled, these states become nearly degenerate promoting Frenkel-exciton-like delocalization and interchromophore energy transfer. As energy relaxation occurs, redistribution of the transition density on two Chla monomers leads to nearly equal distribution of the exciton among the molecules. For a single Chla, our analysis of excitonic dynamics reveals wave function amplitude transfer from nitrogen and outer carbon atoms to inner carbon atoms during non-radiative relaxation.
[en] Non-adiabatic dynamics, where systems non-radiatively transition between electronic states, plays a crucial role in many photo-physical processes, such as fluorescence, phosphorescence, and photoisomerization. Methods for the simulation of non-adiabatic dynamics are typically either numerically impractical, highly complex, or based on approximations which can result in failure for even simple systems. Recently, the Semiclassical Monte Carlo (SCMC) approach was developed in an attempt to combine the accuracy of rigorous semiclassical methods with the efficiency and simplicity of widely used surface hopping methods. However, while SCMC was found to be more efficient than other semiclassical methods, it is not yet as efficient as is needed to be used for large molecular systems. Here, we have developed two new methods: the accelerated-SCMC and the accelerated-SCMC with re-Gaussianization, which reduce the cost of the SCMC algorithm up to two orders of magnitude for certain systems. In many cases shown here, the new procedures are nearly as efficient as the commonly used surface hopping schemes, with little to no loss of accuracy. This implies that these modified SCMC algorithms will be of practical numerical solutions for simulating non-adiabatic dynamics in realistic molecular systems
[en] For this research, we have computationally investigated the role of intramolecular vibrational modes in determining nonradiative relaxation pathways of photoexcited electronic states in isolated chlorophyll A (ChlA) molecules. To simulate the excited state relaxation from the initially excited Soret state to the lowest excited state Qy, the approach of nonadiabatic excited state molecular dynamics has been adopted. The intramolecular vibrational energy relaxation and redistribution that accompany the electronic internal conversion process is followed by analyzing the excited state trajectories in terms of the ground state equilibrium normal modes. The time dependence of the normal mode velocities is determined by projecting instantaneous Cartesian velocities onto the normal mode vectors. Our analysis of the time evolution of the average mode energies uncovers that only a small subset of the medium-to-high frequency normal modes actively participate in the electronic relaxation processes. These active modes are characterized by the highest overlap with the nonadiabatic coupling vectors (NACRs) during the electronic transitions. Further statistical analysis of the nonadiabatic transitions reveals that the electronic and vibrational energy relaxation occurs via two distinct pathways with significantly different time scales on which the hopping from Soret to Qx occurs thereby dictating the overall dynamics. Furthermore, the NACRs corresponding to each of the transitions have been consistently found to be predominantly similar to a set of normal modes that vary depending upon the transition and the identified categories. Each pathway exhibits a differential time scale of energy transfer and also a differential set of predominant active modes. Lastly, our present analysis can be considered as a general approach allowing identification of a reduced subset of specific vibrational coordinates associated with nonradiative relaxation pathways. Therefore, it represents an adequate prior strategy that can particularly facilitates mixed quantum-classical approaches.
[en] In this work, an extended Lagrangian framework for excited state molecular dynamics (XL-ESMD) using time-dependent self-consistent field theory is proposed. The formulation is a generalization of the extended Lagrangian formulations for ground state Born–Oppenheimer molecular dynamics [Phys. Rev. Lett. 2008 100, 123004]. The theory is implemented, demonstrated, and evaluated using a time-dependent semiempirical model, though it should be generally applicable to ab initio theory. The simulations show enhanced energy stability and a significantly reduced computational cost associated with the iterative solutions of both the ground state and the electronically excited states. Relaxed convergence criteria can therefore be used both for the self-consistent ground state optimization and for the iterative subspace diagonalization of the random phase approximation matrix used to calculate the excited state transitions. In conclusion, the XL-ESMD approach is expected to enable numerically efficient excited state molecular dynamics for such methods as time-dependent Hartree–Fock (TD-HF), Configuration Interactions Singles (CIS), and time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT).
[en] The simulation of nonadiabatic dynamics in extended molecular systems involving hundreds of atoms and large densities of states is particularly challenging. Nonadiabatic coupling terms (NACTs) represent a significant numerical bottleneck in surface hopping approaches. Rather than using unreliable NACT cutting schemes, here we develop “on-the-fly” state limiting methods to eliminate states that are no longer essential for the non-radiative relaxation dynamics as a trajectory proceeds. We propose a state number criteria and an energy-based state limit. The latter is more physically relevant by requiring a user-imposed energy threshold. For this purpose, we introduce a local kinetic energy gauge by summing contributions from atoms within the spatial localization of the electronic wavefunction to define the energy available for upward hops. The proposed state limiting schemes are implemented within the nonadiabatic excited-state molecular dynamics framework to simulate photoinduced relaxation in poly-phenylene vinylene (PPV) and branched poly-phenylene ethynylene (PPE) oligomers for benchmark evaluation.