Electronic excitations in a dielectric continuum solvent with quantum Monte Carlo: Acrolein in water

F.M. Floris, Claudia Filippi, C. Amovilli

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We investigate here the vertical n → π* and π → π* transitions of s-trans-acrolein in aqueous solution by means of a polarizable continuum model (PCM) we have developed for the treatment of the solute at the quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) level of the theory. We employ the QMC approach which allows us to work with highly correlated electronic wave functions for both the solute ground and excited states and, to study the vertical transitions in the solvent, adopt the commonly used scheme of considering fast and slow dielectric polarization. To perform calculations in a non-equilibrium solvation regime for the solute excited state, we add a correction to the global dielectric polarization charge density, obtained self consistently with the solute ground-state wave function by assuming a linear-response scheme. For the solvent polarization in the field of the solute in the ground state, we use the static dielectric constant while, for the electronic dielectric polarization, we employ the solvent refractive index evaluated at the same frequency of the photon absorbed by the solute for the transition. This choice is shown to be better than adopting the most commonly used value of refractive index measured in the region of visible radiation. Our QMC calculations show that, for standard cavities, the solvatochromic shifts obtained with the PCM are underestimated, even though of the correct sign, for both transitions of acrolein in water. Only by reducing the size of the cavity to values where more than one electron is escaped to the solvent region, we regain the experimental shift for the n → π* case and also improve considerably the shift for the π → π* transition
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)034109/1-034109/9
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of chemical physics
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • IR-95005
  • METIS-306976

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