Two-Photon Absorption in Conjugated Energetic Molecules

Josiah A. Bjorgaard, Andrew E. Sifain, Tammie Nelson, Thomas W. Myers, Jacqueline M. Veauthier, David E. Chavez, R. Jason Scharff, Sergei Tretiak

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) was used to investigate the relationship between molecular structure and the one- and two-photon absorption (OPA and TPA, respectively) properties of novel and recently synthesized conjugated energetic molecules (CEMs). The molecular structures of CEMs can be strategically altered to influence the heat of formation and oxygen balance, two factors that can contribute to the sensitivity and strength of an explosive material. OPA and TPA are sensitive to changes in molecular structure as well, influencing the optical range of excitation. We found calculated vertical excitation energies to be in good agreement with experiment for most molecules. Peak TPA intensities were found to be significant and on the order of 102 GM. Natural transition orbitals for essential electronic states defining TPA peaks of relatively large intensity were used to examine the character of relevant transitions. Modification of molecular substituents, such as additional oxygen or other functional groups, produces significant changes in electronic structure, OPA, and TPA and improves oxygen balance. The results show that certain molecules are apt to undergo nonlinear absorption, opening the possibility for controlled, direct optical initiation of CEMs through photochemical pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4455-4464
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


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