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Photostability via Sloped Conical Intersections: A Computational Study of the Pyrene Radical Cation

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journal contribution
posted on 30.10.2008, 00:00 by Andrei M. Tokmachev, Martial Boggio-Pasqua, Michael J. Bearpark, Michael A. Robb
The photophysics of the pyrene radical cation, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and a possible source of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), is investigated by means of hybrid molecular mechanics−valence bond (MMVB) force field and multiconfigurational CASSCF and CASPT2 ab initio methods. Potential energy surfaces of the first three electronic states D0, D1, and D2 are calculated. MMVB geometry optimizations are carried out for the first time on a cationic system; the results show good agreement with CASSCF optimized structures, for minima and conical intersections, and errors in the energy gaps are no larger than those found in our previous studies of neutral systems. The presence of two easily accessible sloped D1/D2 and D0/D1 conical intersections suggests the pyrene radical cation is highly photostable, with ultrafast nonradiative decay back to the initial ground state geometry predicted via a mechanism similar to the one found in the naphthalene radical cation.