Efficient intramolecular energy transfer in single endcapped conjugated polymer molecules in the absence of appreciable spectral overlap

Klaus Becker, John M Lupton, Jochen Feldmann, Sepas Setayesh, Andrew C Grimsdale, Klaus Müllen
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2006 January 25, 128 (3): 680-1
Intramolecular energy transfer is investigated in an endcapped conjugated polymer on the single molecule level at low temperature. While light harvesting in one dimension is on average inefficient in the ensemble, the efficiency scatters widely on the single molecule level, with some molecules exhibiting near-unity transfer probability from the polymer backbone donor to the acceptor endcap. This transfer occurs in the absence of spectral overlap between donor and acceptor, as the electronic and vibronic transitions narrow substantially at low temperatures once inhomogeneous disorder broadening is overcome. The results illustrate how far-field absorption and emission characteristics of molecular transitions are insufficient to describe resonant energy transfer processes following Förster theory in multichromophoric aggregates. Rather, exciton trapping due to efficient multiphonon emission has to be invoked with a possible contribution of strong polaronic coupling.

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