The elusive S2 state, the S1/S2 splitting, and the excimer states of the benzene dimer

Balmer, Franziska; Trachsel, Maria Angela; van der Avoird, Ad; Leutwyler, Samuel (2015). The elusive S2 state, the S1/S2 splitting, and the excimer states of the benzene dimer. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 142(23), p. 234306. American Institute of Physics 10.1063/1.4922608

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We observe the weak S 0 → S 2 transitions of the T-shaped benzene dimers (Bz)2 and (Bz-d 6)2 about 250 cm−1 and 220 cm−1 above their respective S 0 → S 1 electronic origins using two-color resonant two-photon ionization spectroscopy. Spin-component scaled (SCS) second-order approximate coupled-cluster (CC2) calculations predict that for the tipped T-shaped geometry, the S 0 → S 2 electronic oscillator strength f el (S 2) is ∼10 times smaller than f el (S 1) and the S 2 state lies ∼240 cm−1 above S 1, in excellent agreement with experiment. The S 0 → S 1 (ππ ∗) transition is mainly localized on the “stem” benzene, with a minor stem → cap charge-transfer contribution; the S 0 → S 2 transition is mainly localized on the “cap” benzene. The orbitals, electronic oscillator strengths f el (S 1) and f el (S 2), and transition frequencies depend strongly on the tipping angle ω between the two Bz moieties. The SCS-CC2 calculated S 1 and S 2 excitation energies at different T-shaped, stacked-parallel and parallel-displaced stationary points of the (Bz)2 ground-state surface allow to construct approximate S 1 and S 2 potential energy surfaces and reveal their relation to the “excimer” states at the stacked-parallel geometry. The f el (S 1) and f el (S 2) transition dipole moments at the C 2v -symmetric T-shape, parallel-displaced and stacked-parallel geometries are either zero or ∼10 times smaller than at the tipped T-shaped geometry. This unusual property of the S 0 → S 1 and S 0 → S 2 transition-dipole moment surfaces of (Bz)2 restricts its observation by electronic spectroscopy to the tipped and tilted T-shaped geometries; the other ground-state geometries are impossible or extremely difficult to observe. The S 0 → S 1/S 2 spectra of (Bz)2 are compared to those of imidazole ⋅ (Bz)2, which has a rigid triangular structure with a tilted (Bz)2 subunit. The S 0 → S 1/ S 2 transitions of imidazole-(benzene)2 lie at similar energies as those of (Bz)2, confirming our assignment of the (Bz)2 S 0 → S 2 transition.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Balmer, Franziska; Trachsel, Maria Angela and Leutwyler, Samuel


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
500 Science




American Institute of Physics




Beatrice Niederhauser

Date Deposited:

02 Feb 2016 15:13

Last Modified:

24 Feb 2016 13:40

Publisher DOI:





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