Franck-Condon Models for Simulating the Band Shape of Electronic Absorption Spectra

Shaohong L. Li, Donald G. Truhlar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Band shape is an essential ingredient in the simulation of electronic absorption spectra. The excitation of multiple series of vibrational levels during an electronic excitation is a main contributor to band shapes. Here we present two simple models based on the Franck-Condon displaced-harmonic-oscillator model. The models are both derived from the time-dependent formulation of electronic spectroscopy. They assume that the transition dipoles do not depend on geometry and that the potential energy surfaces are locally quadratic; one model is second order in time and is called LQ2, and the other is third order in time and is called LQ3. These models are suitable for simulating the unresolved vibronic band shapes of electronic spectra that involve many vibrational modes. The models are straightforward and can be easily applied to simulate absorption spectra that are composed of many electronic transitions. As compared to carrying out molecular dynamics simulations, they require relatively few electronic structure calculations, and the additional cost for constructing the spectra is negligible. Therefore, the models are suitable for simulating the spectra of complex systems such as transition-metal complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2823-2830
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 13 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.


Dive into the research topics of 'Franck-Condon Models for Simulating the Band Shape of Electronic Absorption Spectra'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this