Tuning Singlet Fission in π-Bridge-π Chromophores

06 Oct 2017

We have designed a series of pentacene dimers separated by homoconjugated or non-conjugated bridges that exhibit fast and efficient intramolecular singlet exciton fission (iSF). These materials are distinctive among reported iSF compounds because they exist in the unexplored regime of close spatial proximity but weak electronic coupling between the singlet exciton and triplet pair states. Using transient absorption spectroscopy to investigate photophysics in these molecules, we find that homoconjugated dimers display desirable excited state dynamics, with significantly reduced recombination rates as compared to conjugated dimers with similar singlet fission rates. In addition, unlike conjugated dimers, the time constants for singlet fission are relatively insensitive to the interplanar angle between chromophores, since rotation about σ bonds negligibly affects the orbital overlap within the π-bonding network. In the non-conjugated dimer, where the iSF occurs with a time constant > 10 ns, comparable to the fluorescence lifetime, we used electron spin resonance spectroscopy to unequivocally establish the formation of triplet-triplet multiexcitons and uncoupled triplet exciton through singlet fission. Together, these studies enable us to articulate the role of the conjugation motif in iSF.