Nature of ground and electronic excited states of higher acenes.
Higher acenes have drawn much attention as promising organic semiconductors with versatile electronic properties. However, the nature of their ground state and electronic excited states is still not fully clear. Their unusual chemical reactivity and instability are the main obstacles for experimental studies, and the potentially prominent diradical character, which might require a multireference description in such large systems, hinders theoretical investigations. Here, we provide a detailed answer with the particle-particle random-phase approximation calculation. The (1)Ag ground states of acenes up to decacene are on the closed-shell side of the diradical continuum, whereas the ground state of undecacene and dodecacene tilts more to the open-shell side with a growing polyradical character. The ground state of all acenes has covalent nature with respect to both short and long axes. The lowest triplet state (3)B2u is always above the singlet ground state even though the energy gap could be vanishingly small in the polyacene limit. The bright singlet excited state (1)B2u is a zwitterionic state to the short axis. The excited (1)Ag state gradually switches from a double-excitation state to another zwitterionic state to the short axis, but always keeps its covalent nature to the long axis. An energy crossing between the (1)B2u and excited (1)Ag states happens between hexacene and heptacene. Further energetic consideration suggests that higher acenes are likely to undergo singlet fission with a low photovoltaic efficiency; however, the efficiency might be improved if a singlet fission into multiple triplets could be achieved.
Yang, Y; Davidson, ER; Yang, W
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