Molecular modelling of organic functional materials

Soprani, Lorenzo (2022) Molecular modelling of organic functional materials, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica, 34 Ciclo.
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The investigation of the mechanisms lying behind the (photo-)chemical processes is fundamental to address and improve the design of new organic functional materials. In many cases, dynamics simulations represent the only tool to capture the system properties emerging from complex interactions between many molecules. Despite the outstanding progresses in calculation power, the only way to carry out such computational studies is to introduce several approximations with respect to a fully quantum mechanical (QM) description. This thesis presents an approach that combines QM calculations with a classical Molecular Dynamics (MD) approach by means of accurate QM-derived force fields. It is based on a careful selection of the most relevant molecular degrees of freedom, whose potential energy surface is calculated at QM level and reproduced by the analytic functions of the force field, as well as by an accurate tuning of the approximations introduced in the model of the process to be simulated. This is made possible by some tools developed purposely, that allow to obtain and test the FF parameters through comparison with the QM frequencies and normal modes. These tools were applied in the modelling of three processes: the npi* photoisomerisation of azobenzene, where the FF description was extended to the excited state too and the non-adiabatic events were treated stochastically with Tully fewest switching algorithm; the charge separation in donors-acceptors bulk heterojunction organic solar cells, where a tight-binding Hamiltonian was carefully parametrised and solved by means of a code, also written specifically; the effect of the protonation state on the photoisomerisation quantum yield of the aryl-azoimidazolium unit of the axle molecule of a rotaxane molecular shuttle. In each case, the QM-based MD models that were specifically developed gave noteworthy information about the investigated phenomena, proving to be a fundamental key for a deeper comprehension of several experimental evidences.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Soprani, Lorenzo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Molecular Dynamics, force field, azobenzene, organic photovoltaics, rotaxane
Data di discussione
16 Giugno 2022

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