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Vibronic Coupling Explains the Different Shape of Electronic Circular Dichroism and of Circularly Polarized Luminescence Spectra of Hexahelicenes

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posted on 27.04.2016, 00:00 by Yanli Liu, Javier Cerezo, Giuseppe Mazzeo, Na Lin, Xian Zhao, Giovanna Longhi, Sergio Abbate, Fabrizio Santoro
We present the simulation of the absorption (ABS), electronic circular dichroism (ECD), emission (EMI), and circularly polarized luminescence (CPL) spectra for the weak electronic transition between the ground (S0) and the lowest excited state (S1) of hexahelicene, 2-methylhexahelicene, 2-bromohexahelicene, and 5-azahexahelicene. Vibronic contributions have been computed at zero Kelvin and at room temperature in harmonic approximation including Duschinsky effects and accounting for both Franck–Condon and Herzberg–Teller contributions. Our results nicely capture the effects of the different substituents on the experimental spectra. They also show that HT effects dominate the shape of ECD and CPL spectra where they even induce changes of signs; HT effects are also relevant in ABS and EMI, tuning the relative intensities of the different vibronic bands. HT effects are the main reason for the differences in the line shapes of ABS and ECD and of EMI and CPL spectra and for the mirror-symmetry breaking between ABS and EMI and between ECD and CPL spectra. In order to check the robustness of our results, given also that few examples of calculations of vibronic CPL spectra exist, we adopted both adiabatic and vertical approaches to define the model potential energy surfaces of the (S0) and the (S1) states; moreover we expanded the electric and magnetic dipole transition moments around both the S0 and S1 equilibrium geometries.

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