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Excited state dynamics in solid and monomeric tetracene: The roles of superradiance and exciton fission

Jonathan J Burdett, Astrid M Müller, David Gosztola, Christopher J Bardeen
Journal of Chemical Physics 2010 October 14, 133 (14): 144506
20950016
The excited state dynamics in polycrystalline thin films of tetracene are studied using both picosecond fluorescence and femtosecond transient absorption. The solid-state results are compared with those obtained for monomeric tetracene in dilute solution. The room temperature solid-state fluorescence decays are consistent with earlier models that take into account exciton-exciton annihilation and exciton fission but with a reduced delayed fluorescence lifetime, ranging from 20-100 ns as opposed to 2 μs or longer in single crystals. Femtosecond transient absorption measurements on the monomer in solution reveal several excited state absorption features that overlap the ground state bleach and stimulated emission signals. On longer timescales, the initially excited singlet state completely decays due to intersystem crossing, and the triplet state absorption superimposed on the bleach is observed, consistent with earlier flash photolysis experiments. In the solid-state, the transient absorption dynamics are dominated by a negative stimulated emission signal, decaying with a 9.2 ps time constant. The enhanced bleach and stimulated emission signals in the solid are attributed to a superradiant, delocalized S(1) state that rapidly fissions into triplets and can also generate a second superradiant state, most likely a crystal defect, that dominates the picosecond luminescence signal. The enhanced absorption strength of the S(0)→S(1) transition, along with the partially oriented nature of our polycrystalline films, obscures the weaker T(1)→T(N) absorption features. To confirm that triplets are the major species produced by relaxation of the initially excited state, the delayed fluorescence and ground state bleach recovery are compared. Their identical decays are consistent with triplet diffusion and recombination at trapping or defect sites. The results show that complications like exciton delocalization, the presence of luminescent defect sites, and crystallite orientation must be taken into account to fully describe the photophysical behavior of tetracene thin films. The experimental results are consistent with the traditional picture that tetracene's photodynamics are dominated by exciton fission and triplet recombination, but suggest that fission occurs within 10 ps, much more rapidly than previously believed.

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