The aim of this work is to provide a physical model to relate the polarizability per unit cell of oligomers to that of their corresponding infinite polymer chains. For this we propose an extrapolation method for the polarizability per unit cell of oligomers by fitting them to a physical model describing the dielectric properties of polymer chains. This physical model is based on the concept of a dielectric needle in which we assume a polymer chain to be well described by a cylindrically shaped nonconducting rod with a radius much smaller than its length. With this model we study in which way the polarizability per unit cell approaches the limit of the infinite chain. We show that within this model the macroscopic contribution of the induced electric field to the macroscopic electric field vanishes in the limit of an infinite polymer chain, i.e., there is no macroscopic screening. The macroscopic electric field becomes equal to the external electric field in this limit. We show that this identification leads to a relation between the polarizability per unit cell and the electric susceptibility of the infinite polymer chain. We test our dielectric needle model on the polarizability per unit cell of oligomers of the hydrogen chain and polyacetylene obtained earlier using time-dependent current-density-functional theory in the adiabatic local-density approximation and with the Vignale-Kohn functional. We also perform calculations using the same theory on truly infinite polymer chains by employing periodic boundary conditions. We show that by extrapolating the oligomer results according to our dielectric needle model we get good agreement with our results from calculations on the corresponding infinite polymer chains.
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