Implicit and explicit host effects on excitons in pentacene derivatives

R. J. Charlton, R. M. Fogarty, S. Bogatko, T. J. Zuehlsdorff, N. D.M. Hine, M. Heeney, A. P. Horsfield, P. D. Haynes

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11 Scopus citations


An ab initio study of the effects of implicit and explicit hosts on the excited state properties of pentacene and its nitrogen-based derivatives has been performed using ground state density functional theory (DFT), time-dependent DFT, and ΔSCF. We observe a significant solvatochromic redshift in the excitation energy of the lowest singlet state (S1) of pentacene from inclusion in a p-terphenyl host compared to vacuum; for an explicit host consisting of six nearest neighbour p-terphenyls, we obtain a redshift of 65 meV while a conductor-like polarisable continuum model (CPCM) yields a 78 meV redshift. Comparison is made between the excitonic properties of pentacene and four of its nitrogen-based analogs, 1,8-, 2,9-, 5,12-, and 6,13-diazapentacene with the latter found to be the most distinct due to local distortions in the ground state electronic structure. We observe that a CPCM is insufficient to fully understand the impact of the host due to the presence of a mild charge-transfer (CT) coupling between the chromophore and neighbouring p-terphenyls, a phenomenon which can only be captured using an explicit model. The strength of this CT interaction increases as the nitrogens are brought closer to the central acene ring of pentacene.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 14 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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