Omri Abarbanel, Julisa Rozon, Geoffrey R. Hutchison. “Strategies for Computer-Aided Discovery of Novel Open-Shell Polymers” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. (2022) 13, 9, 2158–2164 Online Preprint

toc image Organic π-conjugated polymers with a triplet ground state have been the focus of recent research for their interesting and unique electronic properties, arising from the presence of the two unpaired electrons. These polymers are usually built from alternating electron-donating and electron-accepting monomer pairs which lower the HOMO-LUMO gap and yield a triplet state instead of the typical singlet ground state. In this paper we use density functional theory calculations to explore the design rules that govern the creation of a ground state triplet conjugated polymer, and find that a small HOMO-LUMO gap in the singlet state is the best predictor for the existence of a triplet ground state, compared to previous use of pro-quinoidal character. This work can accelerate the discovery of new stable triplet materials by reducing the computational resources needed for electronic-state calculations and the number of potential candidates for synthesis.