A newly proposed quantum chemical approach for ab initio calculations of electronic spectra of molecular systems is applied to the molecules ethene, trans-1,3-butadiene, and trans-trans-1,3,5-hexatriene. The method has the aim of being accurate to better than 0.5 eV for excitation energies and is expected to provide structural and physical data for the excited states with good reliability. The approach is based on the complete active space (CAS) SCF method, which gives a proper description of the major features in the electronic structure of the excited state, independent of its complexity, accounts for all near degeneracy effects, and includes full orbital relaxation. Remaining dynamic electron correlation effects are in a subsequent step added using second order perturbation theory with the CASSCF wave function as the reference state. The approach is here tested in a calculation of the valence and Rydberg excited singlet and triplet states of the title molecules, using extended atomic natural orbital (ANO) basis sets. The ethene calculations comprised the two valence states plus all singlet and triplet Rydberg states of 3s, 3p, and 3d character, with errors in computed excitation energies smaller than 0.13 eV in all cases except the V state, for which the vertical excitation energy was about 0.4 eV too large. The two lowest triplet states and nine singlet states were studied in butadiene. The largest error (0.37 eV) was found for the 2 B-1(u) state. The two lowest triplet and seven lowest singlet states in hexatriene had excitation energies in error with less than 0.17 eV.
1993. Vol. 98, no 4, 3151-3162 p.