The theoretical description of the time-evolution of excitons requires, as an initial step, the calculation of their spectra, which has been inaccessible to most users due to the high computational scaling of conventional algorithms and accuracy issues caused by common density functionals. Previously (J. Chem. Phys. 2016, 144, 204105), we developed a simple method that resolves these issues. Our scheme is based on a two-step calculation in which a linear-response TDDFT calculation is used to generate orbitals perturbed by the excitonic state, and then a second linear-response TDDFT calculation is used to determine the spectrum of excitations relative to the excitonic state. Herein, we apply this theory to study near-infrared absorption spectra of excitons in oligomers of the ubiquitous conjugated polymers poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), poly(2-methoxy-5-(2-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene) (MEH-PPV), and poly(benzodithiophene-thieno[3,4-b]thiophene) (PTB7). For P3HT and MEH-PPV oligomers, the calculated intense absorption bands converge at the longest wavelengths for 10 monomer units, and show strong consistency with experimental measurements. The calculations confirm that the exciton spectral features in MEH-PPV overlap with those of the bipolaron formation. In addition, our calculations identify the exciton absorption bands in transient absorption spectra measured by our group for oligomers (1, 2, and 3 units) of PTB7. For all of the cases studied, we report the dominant orbital excitations contributing to the optically active excited state-excited state transitions, and suggest a simple rule to identify absorption peaks at the longest wavelengths. We suggest our methodology could be considered for further developments in theoretical transient spectroscopy to include nonadiabatic effects, coherences, and to describe the formation of species such as charge-transfer states and polaron pairs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry