Full-electron calculation of effective electronic couplings and excitation energies of charge transfer states: Application to hole transfer in DNA pi-stacks

Agostino Migliore
Journal of Chemical Physics 2009 September 21, 131 (11): 114113
In this work I develop and apply a theoretical method for calculating effective electronic couplings (or transfer integrals) between redox sites involved in hole or electron transfer reactions. The resulting methodology is a refinement and a generalization of a recently developed approach for transfer integral evaluation. In fact, it holds for any overlap between the charge-localized states used to represent charge transfer (CT) processes in the two-state model. The presented theoretical and computational analyses show that the prototype approach is recovered for sufficiently small overlaps. The method does not involve any empirical parameter. It allows a complete multielectron description, therefore including electronic relaxation effects. Furthermore, its theoretical formulation holds at any value of the given reaction coordinate and yields a formula for the evaluation of the vertical excitation energy (i.e., the energy difference between the adiabatic ground and first-excited electronic states) that rests on the same physical quantities used in transfer integral calculation. In this paper the theoretical approach is applied to CT in B-DNA base dimers within the framework of Density Functional Theory (DFT), although it can be implemented in other computational schemes. The results of this work, as compared with previous Hartree-Fock (HF) and post-HF evaluations, support the applicability of the current implementation of the method to larger pi-stacked arrays, where post-HF approaches are computationally unfeasible.


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