Thermal broadening of the J-band in disordered linear molecular aggregates: a theoretical study

D J Heijs, V A Malyshev, J Knoester
Journal of Chemical Physics 2005 October 8, 123 (14): 144507
We theoretically study the temperature dependence of the J-band width in disordered linear molecular aggregates, caused by dephasing of the exciton states due to scattering on vibrations of the host matrix. In particular, we consider inelastic one- and two-phonon scatterings between different exciton states (energy-relaxation-induced dephasing), as well as the elastic two-phonon scattering of the excitons (pure dephasing). The exciton states follow from numerical diagonalization of a Frenkel exciton Hamiltonian with diagonal disorder; the scattering rates between them are obtained using the Fermi golden rule. A Debye-type model for the one- and two-phonon spectral densities is used in the calculations. We find that, owing to the disorder, the dephasing rates of the individual exciton states are distributed over a wide range of values. We also demonstrate that the dominant channel of two-phonon scattering is not the elastic one, as is often tacitly assumed, but rather comes from a similar two-phonon inelastic scattering process. In order to study the temperature dependence of the J-band width, we simulate the absorption spectrum, accounting for the dephasing-induced broadening of the exciton states. We find a power-law (T(p)) temperature scaling of the effective homogeneous width, with an exponent p that depends on the shape of the spectral density of the host vibrations. In particular, for a Debye model of vibrations, we find p approximately 4, which is in good agreement with the experimental data on J aggregates of pseudoisocyanine [I. Renge and U. P. Wild, J. Phys. Chem. A, 101, 7977 (1997)].

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