1University of Cambridge, UK
2International University, Bremen, Germany
3Université de Montréal, Canada
4King's College London, UK
Structural relaxations in electronically excited poly(para-phenylene) are studied using many-body perturbation theory and density-functional-theory methods. A sophisticated description of the electron-hole interaction is required to describe the energies of the excitonic states, but we show that the structural relaxations associated with exciton formation can be obtained quite accurately within a constrained density-functional-theory approach. We find that the structural relaxations in the low-energy excitonic states extend over about 8 monomers, leading to an energy reduction of 0.22 eV and a Stokes shift of 0.40 eV.