The excited-state properties in a series of solar cell dyes are investigated with a long-range-corrected (LC) functional which provides a more accurate description of charge-transfer states. Using time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT), the LC formalism correctly predicts a large increase in the excited-state electric dipole moment of the dyes with respect to that of the ground state, indicating a sizable charge separation associated with the S1 ← S0 excitation. The performance of the LC-TDDFT formalism, illustrated by computing excitation energies, oscillator strengths, and excited-state dipole moments, demonstrates that the LC technique provides a consistent picture of charge-transfer excitations as a function of molecular size. In contrast, the widely-used B3LYP functional severely overestimates excited-state dipole moments and underestimates the experimentally observed excitations, especially for larger dye molecules. The results of the present study emphasize the importance of long-range exchange corrections in TDDFT for investigating the charge-transfer dynamics in solar cell dyes.
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