Physical Chemistry

Absorption and Circular Dichroism Spectra of Molecular Aggregates with the Full Cumulant Expansion.

Lorenzo Cupellini Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, University of Pisa
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Abstract

The exciton Hamiltonian of multichromophoric aggregates can be probed by spectroscopic techniques such as linear absorption and circular dichroism. In order to compare calculated Hamiltonians to experiments, a lineshape theory is needed, which takes into account the coupling of the excitons with inter- and intramolecular vibrations. This coupling is normally introduced in a perturbative way through the cumulant expansion formalism, and further approximated by assuming a Markovian exciton dynamics, for example with the modified Redfield theory.

Here we present an implementation of the full cumulant expansion (FCE) formalism [Ma and Cao, J. Chem. Phys. 2015, 142, 094106 ] to efficiently compute absorption and circular dichroism spectra of molecular aggregates beyond the Markov approximation, without restrictions on the form of the exciton-phonon coupling. By employing the LH2 system of purple bacteria as a challenging test case, we compare the FCE lineshapes with the Markovian lineshapes obtained with the modified Redfield theory, showing that the latter present a much poorer agreement with experiments. The FCE approach instead accurately describes the lineshapes, especially in the vibronic sideband of the B800 peak. We envision that the FCE approach will become a valuable tool for accurately comparing model exciton Hamiltonians with optical spectroscopy experiments.

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