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Optical properties of modified diamondoids have been studied theoretically using vibrationally resolved electronic absorption, emission and resonance Raman spectra. A time-dependent correlation function approach has been used for electronic two-state models, comprising a ground state (g) and a bright, excited state (e), the latter determined from linear-response, time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT). The harmonic and Condon approximations were adopted. In most cases origin shifts, frequency alteration and Duschinsky rotation in excited states were considered. For other cases where no excited state geometry optimization and normal mode analysis were possible or desired, a short-time approximation was used. The optical properties and spectra have been computed for (i) a set of recently synthesized sp(2)/sp(3) hybrid species with CQC double-bond connected saturated diamondoid subunits, (ii) functionalized (mostly by thiol or thione groups) diamondoids and (iii) urotropine and other C-substituted diamondoids. The ultimate goal is to tailor optical and electronic features of diamondoids by electronic blending, functionalization and substitution, based on a molecular-level understanding of the ongoing photophysics.

Optical properties of modified diamondoids have been studied theoretically using vibrationally resolved electronic absorption, emission and resonance Raman spectra. A time-dependent correlation function approach has been used for electronic two-state models, comprising a ground state (g) and a bright, excited state (e), the latter determined from linear-response, time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT). The harmonic and Condon approximations were adopted. In most cases origin shifts, frequency alteration and Duschinsky rotation in excited states were considered. For other cases where no excited state geometry optimization and normal mode analysis were possible or desired, a short-time approximation was used. The optical properties and spectra have been computed for (i) a set of recently synthesized sp2/sp3 hybrid species with C[double bond, length as m-dash]C double-bond connected saturated diamondoid subunits, (ii) functionalized (mostly by thiol or thione groups) diamondoids and (iii) urotropine and other C-substituted diamondoids. The ultimate goal is to tailor optical and electronic features of diamondoids by electronic blending, functionalization and substitution, based on a molecular-level understanding of the ongoing photophysics.

A strategy to optimize the photoswitching efficiency of rigid, linear multiazobenzene constructs is presented. It consists of introducing large dihedral angles between azobenzene moieties linked via aryl-aryl connections in their para positions. Four bisazobenzenes exhibiting different dihedral angles as well as three single azobenzene reference compounds have been synthesized, and their switching behavior has been studied as well as experimentally and theoretically analyzed. As the dihedral angle between the two azobenzene units increases and consequently the electronic conjugation decreases, the photochromic characteristics improve, finally leading to individual azobenzene switches operating independently in the case of the perpendicular ortho,ortho,ortho',ortho'-tetramethyl biphenyl linker. The electronic decoupling leads to efficient separation of the absorption spectra of the involved switching states and hence by choosing the appropriate irradiation wavelength, an almost quantitative E -> Z photoisomerization up to 97% overall Z-content can be achieved. In addition, thermal Z -> E isomerization processes become independent of each other with increasing decoupling. The electronic decoupling could furthermore be proven by electrochemistry. The experimental data are supported by theory, and calculations additionally provide mechanistic insight into the preferred pathway for the thermal Z,Z -> Z,E -> E,E isomerization via inversion on the inner N-atoms. Our decoupling approach outlined herein provides the basis for constructing rigid rod architectures composed of multiple azobenzene photochromes, which display practically quantitative photoswitching properties, a necessary prerequisite to achieve highly efficient transduction of light energy directly into motion.

We investigate the vibrational relaxation of a Morse oscillator, nonlinearly coupled to a finite-dimensional bath of harmonic oscillators at zero temperature, using two different approaches: Reduced dynamics with the help of the Lindblad formalism of reduced density matrix theory in combination with Fermi's Golden Rule, and exact dynamics (within the chosen model). with the multiconfiguration time-dependent Hartree (MCTDH) method. Two different models have been constructed, the situation where the bath spectrum is exactly resonant with the anharmonic oscillator transition frequencies, and the case for which the subsystem is slightly off-resonant with the environment. At short times, reduced dynamics calculations describe the relaxation process qualitatively well but fail to reproduce recurrences observed with MCTDH for longer times. Lifetimes of all the vibrational levels of the Morse oscillator have been calculated, and both Lindblad and MCTDH. results show the same dependence of the lifetimes on the initial vibrational state quantum number. A prediction, which should be generic for adsorbate systems is a striking, sharp increase of lifetimes of the subsystem vibrational levels close to the dissociation This is contradictory with harmonic/linear extrapolation laws, which predict a monotonic decrease of the lifetime with initial vibrational quantum number.

Angle-resolved two-photon photoemission and high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy are employed to derive the electronic structure of a subnanometer atomically precise quasi-one-dimensional graphene nanoribbon (GNR) on Au(111). We resolved occupied and unoccupied electronic bands including their dispersion and determined the band gap, which possesses an unexpectedly large value of 5.1 eV. Supported by density functional theory calculations for the idealized infinite polymer and finite size oligomers, an unoccupied nondispersive electronic state with an energetic position in the middle of the band gap of the GNR could be identified. This state resides at both ends of the ribbon (end state) and is only found in the finite sized systems, i.e., the oligomers.

Quantum chemical calculations of various azobenzene (AB) derivatives have been carried out with the goal to describe the energetics and kinetics of their thermal cis -> trans isomerization. The effects of substituents, in particular their type, number, and positioning, on activation energies have been systematically studied with the ultimate goal to tailor the switching process. Trends observed for mono- and disubstituted species are discussed. A polarizable continuum model is used to study, in an approximate fashion, the cis -> trans isomerization of azobenzenes in solution. The nature of the transition state(s) and its dependence on substituents and the environment is discussed. In particular for push-pull azobenzenes, the reaction mechanism is found to change from inversion in nonpolar solvents to rotation in polar solvents. Concerning kinetics, calculations based on the Eyring transition state theory give usually reliable activation energies and enthalpies when compared to experimentally determined values. Also, trends in the resulting rate constants are correct. Other computed properties such as activation entropies and thus preexponential rate factors are in only moderate agreement with experiment.

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a powerful tool for probing the local chemical environment of atoms near surfaces. When applied to soft matter, such as polymers, XPS spectra are frequently shifted and broadened due to thermal atom motion and by interchain interactions. We present a combined quantum mechanical QM/molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of X-ray photoelectron spectra of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) using oligomer models in order to account for and quantify these effects on the XPS (C1s) signal. In our study, molecular dynamics at finite temperature were performed with a classical forcefield and by ab initio MD (AIMD) using the Car-Parrinello method. Snapshots along, the trajectories represent possible conformers and/or neighbouring environments, with different C1s ionization potentials for individual C atoms leading to broadened XPS peaks. The latter are determined by Delta-Kohn Sham calculations. We also examine the experimental practice of gauging XPS (C1s) signals of alkylic C-atoms in C-containing polymers to the C1s signal of polyethylene.
We find that (i) the experimental XPS (C1s) spectra of PVA (position and width) can be roughly represented by single-strand models, (ii) interchain interactions lead to red-shifts of the XPS peaks by about 0.6 eV, and (iii) AIMD simulations match the findings from classical MD semi-quantitatively. Further, (iv) the gauging procedure of XPS (C1s) signals to the values of PE, introduces errors of about 0.5 eV. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Recently, C K-edge Near Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (NEXAFS) spectra of graphite (HOPG) surfaces have been measured for the pristine material, and for HOPG treated with either bromine or krypton plasmas (Lippitz et al., Surf. Sci., 2013, 611, L1). Changes of the NEXAFS spectra characteristic for physical (krypton) and/or chemical/physical modifications of the surface (bromine) upon plasma treatment were observed. Their molecular origin, however, remained elusive. In this work we study by density functional theory, the effects of selected point and line defects as well as chemical modifications on NEXAFS carbon K-edge spectra of single graphene layers. For Br-treated surfaces, also Br 3d X-ray Photoelectron Spectra (XPS) are simulated by a cluster approach, to identify possible chemical modifications. We observe that some of the defects related to plasma treatment lead to characteristic changes of NEXAFS spectra, similar to those in experiment. Theory provides possible microscopic origins for these changes.