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Accurate optical characterization of the closo-Si12C12 molecule is important to guide experimental efforts toward the synthesis of nano-wires, cyclic nano-arrays, and related array structures, which are anticipated to be robust and efficient exciton materials for opto-electronic devices. Working toward calibrated methods for the description of closo-Si12C12 oligomers, various electronic structure approaches are evaluated for their ability to reproduce measured optical transitions of the SiC2, Si2Cn (n = 1–3), and Si3Cn (n = 1, 2) clusters reported earlier by Steglich and Maier [Astrophys. J. 801, 119 (2015)]. Complete-basis-limit equation-of-motion coupled-cluster (EOMCC) results are presented and a comparison is made between perturbative and renormalized non-iterative triples corrections. The effect of adding a renormalized correction for quadruples is also tested. Benchmark test sets derived from both measurement and high-level EOMCC calculations are then used to evaluate the performance of a variety of density functionals within the time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) framework. The best-performing functionals are subsequently applied to predict valence TD-DFT excitation energies for the lowest-energy isomers of SinC and Sin−1C7−n (n = 4–6). TD-DFT approaches are then applied to the SinCn (n = 4–12) clusters and unique spectroscopic signatures of closo-Si12C12 are discussed. Finally, various long-range corrected density functionals, including those from the CAM-QTP family, are applied to a charge-transfer excitation in a cyclic (Si4C4)4 oligomer. Approaches for gauging the extent of charge-transfer character are also tested and EOMCC results are used to benchmark functionals and make recommendations.


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The Journal of Chemical Physics