Triplet-triplet (TT) energy transfer requires two molecular fragments to exchange electrons that carry different spin and energy. In this paper, we analyze and report values of the electronic coupling strengths for TT energy transfer. Two different methods were proposed and tested: (1) Directly calculating the off-diagonal Hamiltonian matrix element. This direct coupling scheme was generalized from the one used for electron transfer coupling, where two spin-localized unrestricted Hartree-Fock wave functions are used as the zero-order reactant and product states, and the off-diagonal Hamiltonian matrix elements are calculated directly. (2) From energy gaps derived from configuration-interaction-singles (CIS) scheme. Both methods yielded very similar results for the systems tested. For TT coupling between a pair of face-to-face ethylene molecules, the exponential attenuation factor is 2.59 A(-1)(CIS6-311+G(**)), which is about twice as large as typical values for electron transfer. With a series of fully stacked polyene pairs, we found that the TT coupling magnitudes and attenuation rates are very similar irrespective of their molecular size. If the polyenes were partially stacked, TT couplings were much reduced, and they decay more rapidly with distance than those of full-stacked systems. Our results showed that the TT coupling arises mainly from the region of close contact between the donor and acceptor frontier orbitals, and the exponential decay of the coupling with separation depends on the details of the molecular contacts. With our calculated results, nanosecond or picosecond time scales for TT energy-transfer rates are possible.
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