The elusive excited states of bithiophene: A CASPT2 detective story

Marcin Andrzejak*, Henryk Arnold Witek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A systematic multi-reference perturbation theory investigation of the excitation energies and oscillator strengths for the lowest excited states of 2,2′-bithiophene unequivocally shows that its optical spectrum is produced by two 1Bu states separated from each other by approximately 1 eV. This picture is confirmed by additional calculations with alternative quantum chemical methods. Our findings are in strong contrast with the previous CASPT2 results of Rubio et al. [J Chem Phys 102:3580 (1995) and Chem Phys Chem 4:1308 (2003)], who predicted that the two lowest 1Bu states are quasi-degenerate. The methodological reasons responsible for the previous seemingly erroneous assignment of the optical spectrum of bithiophene are identified and explained in terms of unusually large coupling between the 1Bu states introduced by dynamical correlation effects. A general discussion of applicable computational techniques is offered aiming at avoiding similar problems for other molecular systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-172
Number of pages12
JournalTheoretical Chemistry Accounts
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2011


  • Absorption spectrum
  • Bithiophene
  • CASPT2
  • Excited states
  • Vertical excitation energies

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