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Thousand-atom ab initio calculations of excited states at organic/organic interfaces: toward first-principles investigations of charge photogeneration

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Abstract

Predicting electronically excited states across electron-donor/electron acceptor interfaces is essential for understanding the charge photogeneration process in organic solar cells. However, organic solar cells are large and disordered systems, and their excited states cannot be easily accessed by conventional quantum chemistry approaches. Moreover, a large number of excited states must be obtained to fully understand the charge separation mechanism. Recently, we have developed a novel fragment-based excited state method which can efficiently calculate a large number of states in molecular aggregates. In this article, we demonstrate the large-scale excited-state calculations by investigating interfacial charge transfer (ICT) states across the electron-donor/electron acceptor interfaces. As the model systems, we considered the face-on and edge-on configurations of pentacene/C60 bilayer heterojunction structures. These model structures contain approximately 1.8 × 105 atoms, and their local interface regions containing 2000 atoms were treated quantum mechanically, embedded in the electrostatic potentials from the remaining parts. Therefore, the charge delocalization effect, structural disorder, and the resulting heterogeneous electrostatic and polarizable environments were taken into account in the excited-state calculations. The computed energies of the low-lying ICT states are in reasonable agreement with experimental estimates. By comparing the edge-on and face-on configurations of the pentacene/C60 interfaces, we discuss the influence of interfacial morphologies on the energetics and charge delocalization of ICT states. In addition, we present the detailed characterization of excited states and highlight the importance of hybridization effects between pentacene excited states and ICT states. The large-scale ab initio calculations for the interface systems enabled the exploration of the ICT states, leading to first-principles investigation of the charge separation mechanism in organic solar cells.

Graphical abstract: Thousand-atom ab initio calculations of excited states at organic/organic interfaces: toward first-principles investigations of charge photogeneration

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Sep 2018, accepted on 27 Sep 2018 and first published on 01 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8CP05574B
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Advance Article
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    Thousand-atom ab initio calculations of excited states at organic/organic interfaces: toward first-principles investigations of charge photogeneration

    T. Fujita, Md. K. Alam and T. Hoshi, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8CP05574B

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