105 research outputs found

    Non-innocent side-chains with dipole moments in organic solar cells improve charge separation

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    Providing sustainable energy is one of the biggest challenges nowadays. An attractive answer is the use of organic solar cells to capture solar energy. Recently a promising route to increase their efficiency has been suggested: developing new organic materials with a high dielectric constant. This solution focuses on lowering the coulomb attraction between electrons and holes, thereby increasing the yield of free charges. In here, we demonstrate from a theoretical point of view that incorporation of dipole moments in organic materials indeed lowers the coulomb attraction. A combination of molecular dynamics simulations for modelling the blend and ab initio quantum chemical calculations to study specific regions was performed. This approach gives predictive insight in the suitability of new materials for application in organic solar cells. In addition to all requirements that make conjugated polymers suitable for application in organic solar cells, this study demonstrates the importance of large dipole moments in polymer side-chains

    How ethylene glycol chains enhance the dielectric constant of organic semiconductors : molecular origin and frequency dependence

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    Incorporating ethylene glycols (EGs) into organic semiconductors has become the prominent strategy to increase their dielectric constant. However, EG’s contribution to the dielectric constant is due to nuclear relaxations, and therefore, its relevance for various organic electronic applications depends on the time scale of these relaxations, which remains unknown. In this work, by means of a new computational protocol based on polarizable molecular dynamics simulations, the time- and frequency-dependent dielectric constant of a representative fullerene derivative with EG side chains is predicted, the origin of its unusually high dielectric constant is explained, and design suggestions are made to further increase it. Finally, a dielectric relaxation time of ∼1 ns is extracted which suggests that EGs may be too slow to reduce the Coulombic screening in organic photovoltaics but are definitely fast enough for organic thermoelectrics with much lower charge carrier velocities

    Understanding Trends in Molecular Bond Angles

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    Trends in bond angle are identified in a systematic study of more than a thousand symmetric A(2)B triatomic molecules. We show that, in series where atoms A and B are each varied within a group, the following trends hold: (1) the A-B-A bond angle decreases for more polarizable central atoms B, and (2) the A-B-A angle increases for more polarizable outer atoms A. The physical underpinning is provided by the extended Debye polarizability model for the chemical bond angle, hence our present findings also serve as validation of this simple classical model. We use experimental bond angles from the literature and, where not available, we optimize molecular geometries with quantum chemical methods, with an open mind with regards to the stability of these molecules. We consider main group elements up to and including the sixth period of the periodic table

    Theoretical Study of the Charge Transfer Exciton Binding Energy in Semiconductor Materials for Polymer:Fullerene-Based Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells

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    Recent efforts and progress in polymer solar cell research have boosted the photovoltaic efficiency of the technology. This efficiency depends not only on the device architecture but also on the material properties. Thus, insight into the design of novel semiconductor materials is vital for the advancement of the field. This paper looks from a theoretical viewpoint into two of the factors for the design of semiconductor materials with applications to bulk heterojunction solar cells: the charge transfer exciton binding energy and the nanoscale arrangement of donor and acceptor molecules in blend systems. Being aware that the exciton dissociation of local excitons in charge transfer states initiates the charge generation process, the excited state properties of four oligomers (one donor-type: PEO–PPV; and three donor–acceptor-types: PTFB, PTB7, and PTB7–Th) and two fullerene derivatives ([60]­PCBM and [70]­PCBM), previously reported in the literature as having high electrical conductance, are studied. With such a study, the donor molecules, either of donor-type or donor–acceptor type, are screened as candidates for [60]­PCBM- and/or [70]­PCBM-based bulk heterojunctions. The charge transfer energy and charge transfer exciton binding energy of suitable donor:acceptor bulk heterojunctions, some of them not yet fabricated, are studied. Further, the charge transfer exciton binding energies of [60]­PCBM- and [70]­PCBM-based blends are compared. A combination of molecular dynamics simulations with calculations based on Kohn–Sham density functional theory (KS-DFT) and its time-dependent extension (KS-TDDFT) is used. An important feature of this work is that it incorporates the effect of the environment of the quantum chemical system in KS-DFT or KS-TDDFT calculations through a polarizable discrete reaction field (DRF). Our predictions in terms of the influence of the nanoscale arrangement of donor and acceptor molecules on the performance of organic solar cells indicate that bulk heterojunction morphologies for donor–acceptor-type oligomers lead to their lowest excited states having charge transfer character. Further, we find that in terms of favorable charge transfer exciton binding energy, the PTB7–Th:[70]­PCBM blends outperform the other blends

    Theoretical study of the light-induced spin crossover mechanism in [Fe(mtz)6]2+ and [Fe(phen)3]2+

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    The deactivation pathway of the light induced spin crossover process in two Fe(II) complexes has been studied by combining Density Functional Theory calculations for the geometries and the normal vibrational modes and highly correlated wave function methods for the energies and spin-orbit coupling effects. For the two systems considered, the mechanism of the photoinduced conversion from the low-spin singlet to the high- spin quintet state implies two intersystem crossings through intermediate triplet states. However, while for the [Fe(mtz)6]2+ complex, the process occurs within few picoseconds and involves uniquely metal-centered electronic states, for the [Fe(phen)3]2+ system the deactivation channel involves both metal to ligand charge transfer and metal-centered states and takes place in a femtosecond time scale

    Structure and stability of complexes of agmatine with some functional receptor residues of proteins

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    The paper reports the results of a theoretical study of the conformational behavior and basicity of biogenic amine agmatine. The complexes modelling of agmatine - protein interaction are also under scrutiny of our investigation using the Becke3LYP and B97D levels of the density functional theory. The relative stabilities (Gibbs energies) of individual complexes are by both DFT methods described equally. Hydration has a dramatic effect on the hydrogen bonded complexes studied. The pairing acidic carboxylate group with different agmatine species resulted in charged hydrogen bond complexes containing negatively charged acetate species acting as proton acceptors. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

    Theoretical Study of Molecular Structure and Physicochemical Properties of Novel Factor Xa Inhibitors and Dual Factor Xa and Factor IIa Inhibitors

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    The geometries and energies of factor Xa inhibitors edoxaban, eribaxaban, fidexaban, darexaban, letaxaban, and the dual factor Xa and thrombin inhibitors tanogitran and SAR107375 in both the gas-phase and aqueous solution were studied using the Becke3LYP/6-31++G(d,p) or Grimme’s B97D/6-31++G(d,p) method. The fully optimized conformers of these anticoagulants show a characteristic l-shape structure, and the water had a remarkable effect on the equilibrium geometry. According to the calculated pKa values eribaxaban and letaxaban are in neutral undissociated form at pH 7.4, while fidexaban and tanogitran exist as zwitterionic structures. The lipophilicity of the inhibitors studied lies within a large range of log P between 1 and 4. The dual inhibitor SAR107375 represents an improvement in structural, physicochemical and pharmacokinetic characteristics over tanogitran. At blood pH, SAR107375 predominantly exists in neutral form. In contrast with tanogitran, it is better absorbed and more lipophilic and active after oral application

    The behaviour of charge distributions in dielectric media

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    Screened Coulomb interaction in dielectrics is often used as an argument for a lower exciton binding energy and easier exciton dissociation in a high dielectric material. In this paper, we show that at length scales of excitons (10-20 angstrom), the screened Coulomb law is invalid and a microscopic (quantum chemical) description is necessary to describe the medium effect on exciton dissociation. The exciton dissociation energy decreases with increasing dielectric constant, albeit deviating from the inversely proportional relationship. The electron-hole interaction energy, approximated with a point charge model, is apparently not affected by the dielectric constant of the environment. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

    Molecular structure of basic oligomeric building units of heparan-sulfate glycosaminoglycans

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    This study reports in detail the results of systematic large-scale theoretical investigations of the acidic dimeric structural units (D-E, E-F, F-G, and G-H) and pentamer D-E-F-G-H (fondaparinux) of the glycosaminoglycan heparin, and their anionic forms. The geometries and energies of these oligomers have been computed using HF/6-31G(d), Becke3LYP/6-31G(d), and Becke3LYP/6-311+G(d,p) methods. The optimized geometries indicate that the most stable structure of these units in the neutral state is stabilized via a system of intramolecular hydrogen bonds. The equilibrium structure of these species changed appreciably upon dissociation. Water has a remarkable effect on the geometry of the anions studied. Because of high negative charge, the solvent effect also resulted in an appreciable energetic stabilization of biologically active anionic forms of these glycosaminoglycans. The stable energy conformations around glycosidic bonds found for dimers and pentamer investigated are compared and discussed with the available experimental X-ray structural data for the structurally related heparin-derived pentasaccharides in cocrystals with proteins

    Improving the force field description of tyrosine-choline cation-π interactions : QM investigation of phenol-N(Me)₄⁺ interactions

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    Cation-pi interactions between tyrosine amino acids and compounds containing N,N,N-trimethylethanolammonium (N(CH3)(3)) are involved in the recognition of histone tails by chromodomains and in the recognition of phosphatidylcholine (PC) phospholipids by membrane-binding proteins. Yet, the lack of explicit polarization or charge transfer effects in molecular mechanics force fields raises questions about the reliability of the representation of these interactions in biomolecular simulations. Here, we investigate the nature of phenol tetramethylammonium (TMA) interactions using quantum mechanical (QM) calculations, which we also use to evaluate the accuracy of the additive CHARIVIM36 and Drude polarizable force fields in modeling tyrosine-choline interactions. We show that the potential energy surface (PES) obtained using SAPT2+/aug-cc-pVDZ compares well with the large basis-set CCSD(T) PES when TMA approaches the phenol ring perpendicularly. Furthermore, the SAPT energy decomposition reveals comparable contributions from electrostatics and dispersion in phenol-TMA interactions. We then compared the SAPT2+/augcc-pVDZ PES obtained along various approach directions to the corresponding PES obtained with CHARMM, and we show that the force field accurately reproduces the minimum distances while the interaction energies are underestimated. The use of the Drude polarizable force field significantly improves the interaction energies but decreases the agreement on distances at energy minima. The best agreement between force field and QM PES is obtained by modifying the Lennard-Jones terms for atom pairs involved in the phenol-TMA cation-pi interactions. This is further shown to improve the correlation between the occupancy of tyrosine-choline cation-pi interactions obtained from molecular dynamics simulations of a bilayer-bound bacterial phospholipase and experimental affinity data of the wild-type protein and selected mutants
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