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Title: Charge-Transfer Versus Charge-Transfer-Like Excitations Revisited

Criteria to assess charge-transfer (CT) and `CT-like' character of electronic excitations are examined. Time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) with non-hybrid, hybrid, and tuned long-range corrected (LC) functionals is compared with with coupled-cluster (CC) benchmarks. The test set includes an organic CT complex, two `push-pull' donor-acceptor chromophores, a cyanine dye, and several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Proper CT is easily identified. Excitations with significant density changes upon excitation within regions of close spatial proximity can also be diagnosed. For such excitations, the use of LC functionals in TDDFT sometimes leads to dramatic improvements of the singlet energies, similar to proper CT, which has led to the concept of `CT-like' excitations. However, `CT-like' excitations are not like charge transfer, and the improvements are not obtained for the right reasons. The triplet excitation energies are underestimated for all systems, often severely. For the `CT-like' candidates, when going from a non-hybrid to an LC functional the error in the singlet-triplet (S/T) separation changes from negative to positive, providing error compensation. For the cyanine, the S/T separation is too large with all functionals, leading to the best error compensation for non-hybrid functionals.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
48614; KC0301020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, 11(7):3305-3320
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Charge-transfer; excitations; TDDFT; density functional theory; hydrocarbons; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory