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Optoelectronic and Excitonic Properties of Oligoacenes: Substantial Improvements from Range-Separated Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory.

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The optoelectronic and excitonic properties in a series of linear acenes (naphthalene up to heptacene) are investigated using range-separated methods within time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT). In these rather simple systems, it is well-known that TDDFT methods using conventional hybrid functionals surprisingly fail in describing the low-lying L(a) and L(b) valence states, resulting in large, growing errors for the L(a) state and an incorrect energetic ordering as a function of molecular size. In this work, we demonstrate that the range-separated formalism largely eliminates both of these errors and also provides a consistent description of excitonic properties in these systems. We further demonstrate that reoptimizing the percentage of Hartree-Fock exchange in conventional hybrids to match wave function-based benchmark calculations still yields serious errors, and a full 100% Hartree-Fock range separation is essential for simultaneously describing both of the L(a) and L(b) transitions. From an analysis of electron-hole transition density matrices, we finally show that conventional hybrid functionals over-delocalize excitons and underestimate quasiparticle energy gaps in the acene systems. The results of our present study emphasize the importance of both a range-separated and asymptotically correct contribution of exchange in TDDFT for investigating optoelectronic and excitonic properties, even for these simple valence excitations.

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