Paper: Details in the surface hopping method

Our paper “Strong Influence of Decoherence Corrections and Momentum Rescaling in Surface Hopping Dynamics of Transition Metal Complexes” was just accepted in JCTC. In this work we investigated the reliability of the surface hopping method in the case of a transition metal complex described using a linear vibronic coupling model. We found that various seemingly unimportant parameters can have a strong influence on the results.

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Paper: Two-photon absorption

Our new paper Effect of Symmetric and Asymmetric Substitution on the Optoelectronic Properties of 9,10-Dicyanoanthracene, written in collaboration with colleagues from Imperial College London, TU Vienna, University of Geneva, and the Polish Academy of Sciences just appeared in the new RSC journal Molecular Systems Design & Engineering. The paper illustrates design principles relevant for strong two-photon absorbers. The best two-photon absorption is obtained by using a symmetric D-A-D arrangement with sufficiently strong donors.

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Paper: Electronic structure methods for dynamics simulations

The challenge about running photodynamics simulations is that the computational cost is often so high that one might have to compromise in terms of the electronic structure method used. One is tempted to just check the vertical excitations at one geometry and run the dynamics if those look alright. How this can go wrong is investigated in the paper “The Influence of the Electronic Structure Method on Intersystem Crossing Dynamics. The Case of Thioformaldehyde” that just appeared in JCTC. Take a look if you are interested.


Copyright 2019 American Chemical Society.

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Paper: Delayed fluorescence

Small modifications can make a big difference. Swapping anthraquinone for a thiophene based acceptor in a donor-acceptor-donor system produces the desired red shift in the emission but limits its quantum efficiency. This conclusion was drawn from a recent paper lead by Stephanie Montanaro and Iain Wright at Loughborough: Red-shifted delayed fluorescence at the expense of photoluminescence quantum efficiency – an intramolecular charge-transfer molecule based on a benzodithiophene-4,8-dione acceptor which just a appeared in PCCP.

Computations reveal that the reason for the reduced emission quantum efficiency lies in the presence of low-lying locally excited states (4 triplets and one singlet) on the central unit.

Paper: Visualisation of electron correlation

Felix’s first purely Loughborough grown paper just appeared as a Communication in ChemPhotoChem: “Visualisation of Electronic Excited‐State Correlation in Real Space“. The paper explores a new method for visualising electron correlation exemplified in the case excited states represented in the electron/hole picture. The idea is to fix the hole on one fragment of the system and to observe how the excited electron adjusts to this position.

Below, I am showing this analysis for the lowest 10 excited states of the system. The hole (shown in red) is always located on the second thiophene unit from the right. The electron (shown in blue) adjusts in different ways to this hole position, either moving toward it or going away from it.

As shown above, the method offers a new and intuitive way of viewing correlated exciton wavefunctions. It was also shown in this paper how the method allows to naturally distinguish between ionic and covalent states of naphthalene without any explicit reference to valence bond theory.

Paper: Two-Photon Polymerisation Initiators

A joint experimental and computational study with groups from Vienna and Geneva just appeared in Sci. Rep.: “Wavelength-optimized Two-Photon Polymerization Using Initiators Based on Multipolar Aminostyryl-1,3,5-triazines.” In this paper, the two-photon absorption properties of a new class of aminostyryl-triazines were investigated showing good agreement between experiment and computation. Furthermore, the practical applicability of these molecules for 3D-printing was shown.

Paper: Dynamics within an Exciton Model

Another paper working on improving the efficiency of surface hopping dynamics just appeared, this time in JCTC: “Surface hopping within an exciton picture – An electrostatic embedding scheme.” authored by M. F. S. J. Menger, F. Plasser, B. Mennucci, and L. González. In this paper, we explored the possibility of running nonadiabatic dynamics simulations within an exciton model. The main challenge in this endeavour was to derive a consistent energy expression for combining QM/MM electrostatic embedding calculations of the different chromophores.

Surface Hopping within an Exciton Scheme

To test the implementation, we ran simulations on a molecular dyad, where full TDDFT nonadiabatic dynamics simulations were available. Good agreement was found.

The method was implemented in the SHARC molecular dynamics package.

Paper: Multireference Approaches for Excited States

We just published a comprehensive and quite voluminous review paper about “Multireference Approaches for Excited States of Molecules”  in Chemical Reviews. The paper covers the major methods used nowadays, such as CASSCF, multireference (MR) configuration interaction, MR perturbation theory, and MR coupled cluster. It discusses the application of semiempirical Hamiltonians as well as connections to DFT. The emerging algorithms DMRG and full-CI Quantum Monte Carlo are included as well. The theory of gradients as well as MR diagnostics and wavefunction analysis are discussed. The presented applications include a variety of cases starting from diatomics and going to complexes and dimers.

For a more detailed discussion of the paper, visit For download options, see below.

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