Modeling fast electron dynamics with real-time time-dependent density functional theory: Application to small molecules and chromophores

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The response of matter to external fields forms the basis for a vast wealth of fundamental physical processes ranging from light harvesting to nanoscale electron transport. Accurately modeling ultrafast electron dynamics in excited systems thus offers unparalleled insight but requires an inherently nonlinear time-resolved approach. To this end, an efficient and massively parallel real-time real-space time-dependent density functional theory (RT-TDDFT) implementation in NWChem is presented. The implementation is first validated against linear-response TDDFT and experimental results for a series of molecules subjected to small electric field perturbations. Second, nonlinear excitation of green fluorescent protein is studied, which shows a blue-shift in the spectrum with increasing perturbation, as well as a saturation in absorption. Next, the charge dynamics of optically excited zinc porphyrin is presented in real time and real space, with relevance to charge injection in photovoltaic devices. Finally, intermolecular excitation in an adenine-thymine base pair is studied using the BNL range separated functional [Baer, R.; Neuhauser, D.Phys. Rev. Lett. 2005, 94, 043002], demonstrating the utility of a real-time approach in capturing charge transfer processes. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

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Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation

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