We report on a quantum-chemical study of the electronic and optical properties of unsubstituted oligo(phenylene vinylene) (OPV) radical cations. Our goal is to distinguish the impact of the choice of molecular geometry from the impact of the choice of quantum-chemical method, on the calculated optical transition energies. The geometry modifications upon ionization of the OPV chains are found to depend critically on the theoretical formalism: Hartree - Fock (HF) geometry optimizations lead to self-localization of the charged defects while pure density functional theory (DFT) results in a complete delocalization of the geometric modifications over the whole conjugated backbone. The electronic structure and vertical transition energy associated with the lowest excited state of the radical cations have been calculated at the post-Hartree - Fock level within a configuration interaction (HF-CI) scheme and using the time-dependent DFT (TD-DFT) formalism for different radical cation geometries. Interestingly, the changes in the calculated optical properties obtained when using different geometric structures are less important within a given method than the differences between methods for a given structure. The optical excitation is localized with HF-CI and delocalized with TD-DFT, almost irrespective of the molecular geometry; as a result, HF-CI excitation energies tend to saturate as the chain length increases, in contrast to the results from TD-DFT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry