Ab-initio calculation of the electronic absorption of functionalized octahedral silsesquioxanes via time-dependent density functional theory with range separated hybrid functionals

Richard Laine

H. Phillips, S. Zheng, A. Hyla, R. M Laine, T. Goodson III, E. Geva, and B. D Dunietz (2012)

J. Phys. Chem. J. Phys. Chem. A, 116:1137–1145.

Recent advances in the ability to functionalize octahedral silsesquioxanes with different photoactive ligands, and thereby tune their optical properties, suggest that these molecules may serve as potential building blocks of light-harvesting, photovoltaic, and photonic devices. In this paper we report extensive ab initio calculations of the excitation energies underlying the absorption spectra of these systems. The calculations are based on density functional theory for the ground electronic state and time-dependent density functional theory for the excited electronic states. The ability of the commonly used B3LYP functional to reproduce the experimentally observed absorption excitation energies is compared to that of recently developed range-separated hybrid functionals. The importance of pairing the range-separated hybrid functionals with basis sets that include diffuse and polarization basis functions is demonstrated in the case of vinyl-functionalized silsesquioxanes. Absorptive excitation energies are then calculated and compared with experiment for octahedral silsesquioxanes functionalized with larger ligands. The tunability of optical properties is demonstrated by considering the effect on the excitation energies of functionalizing the ligands with electron-donating or -withdrawing groups.

density functional theory, electronic, silsesquioxanes