Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

OS100: A Benchmark Set of 100 Digitized UV-Visible Spectra and Derived Experimental Oscillator Strengths



Excited-state quantum chemical calculations typically report excitation energies and oscillator strengths, ƒ, for each electronic transition. On the other hand, UV-visible spectrophotometric experiments report energy-dependent molar extinction/attenuation coefficients, ε(v), that determine the absorption band line shapes. ε(v) and ƒ are related, but this relation is complicated by various broadening and solvation effects. We fit and integrated experimental UV-visible spectra to obtain ƒexp values for absorption bands and estimated the uncertainty in the fitting. We derived 164 ƒexp values from 100 organic molecules ranging in size from 6-34 atoms. The corresponding computed oscillator strengths (ƒcomp) were obtained with time-dependent density functional theory and a polarizable continuum solvent model. By expressing experimental and computed absorption strengths using a common quantity, we directly compared ƒcomp and ƒexp. While ƒcomp and ƒexp are well correlated (linear regression R2=0. 921), ƒcomp in most cases significantly overestimates ƒexp (regression slope=1.34). The agreement between absolute ƒcomp and ƒexp values was substantially improved by accounting for a solvent refractive index factor, as suggested in some derivations in the literature. The 100 digitized UV-visible spectra are included as plain text files in the supporting information to aid in benchmarking computational or machine-learning approaches that aim to simulate realistic UV-visible absorption spectra.

Version notes

Two incorrect data points were corrected, and the results updated. Some pertinent material was moved from the Supporting Information document to the main text. Some minor changes to the text were made to improve clarity. Two supporting figures were added.


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