L. J. Nåbo, J. M. H. Olsen, N. H. List, L. M. Solanko, D. Wüstner, J. Kongsted
We study excited states of cholesterol in solution and show that, in this specific case, solute wave-function confinement is the main effect of the solvent. This is rationalized on the basis of the polarizable density embedding scheme, which in addition to polarizable embedding includes non-electrostatic repulsion that effectively confines the solute wave function to its cavity. We illustrate how the inclusion of non-electrostatic repulsion results in a successful identification of the intense π → π∗ transition, which was not possible using an embedding method that only includes electrostatics. This underlines the importance of non-electrostatic repulsion in quantum-mechanical embedding-based methods.