First-principles quantum simulations of exciton diffusion on a minimal oligothiophene chain at finite temperature†
High-dimensional multiconfigurational quantum dynamics simulations are carried out at finite temperature to simulate exciton diffusion on an oligothiophene chain, representative of a segment of the poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) polymer. The ab initio parametrized site-based Hamiltonian of Binder et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett., 2018, 120, 227401] is employed to model a 20-site system, including intra-ring and inter-ring high-frequency modes as well as torsional modes which undergo thermal fluctuations induced by an explicit harmonic oscillator bath. The system-bath dynamics is treated within the setting of a stochastic mean-field Schrödinger equation. For the 20-site excitonic system, a total of 20 Frenkel states and 248 modes are propagated using the multi-layer multi-configuration time-dependent Hartree (ML-MCTDH) method. The resulting dynamics can be interpreted in terms of the coherent motion of an exciton–polaron quasi-particle stochastically driven by torsional fluctuations. This dynamics yields a near-linear mean squared displacement (MSD) as a function of time, from which a diffusion coefficient can be deduced which increases with temperature, up to 5.7 × 10−3 cm2 s−1 at T = 300 K.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Quantum effects in complex systems