JOURNAL ARTICLE

Excited-state dynamics and self-organization of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) in solution and thin films

Bruno Ferreira, Palmira Ferreira da Silva, J Sérgio Seixas de Melo, João Pina, António Maçanita
Journal of Physical Chemistry. B 2012 March 1, 116 (8): 2347-55
22303865
The fluorescence decays of a stereoregular head-to-tail RR-HT poly(3-hexylthiophene), P3HT, in methylcyclohexane (MCH) are described by sums of three or four exponential terms, respectively above and below -10 °C. In the high-temperature region, the polymer lifetime (ca. 500 ps) is accompanied by two shorter decay times (ca. 20 and 120 ps), which are assigned to intrachain energy transfer from high to lower energy excitons on the basis of temperature and wavelength dependence of the fluorescence decays. The absence of conformational (torsional) relaxation is attributed to the small dihedral angle between monomers that is predicted for the stereoregular polymer in the ground state. Below -10 °C, the polymer forms excimer-like aggregates, showing vibrational structured absorption and emission bands similar to those observed in thin films. The vibrational structure is attributed to a deep minimum in the ground-state energy surface of the dimer or aggregate. Below -40 °C, the fluorescence measured at the aggregate emission wavelength (670 nm) basically results from direct excitation of the aggregate and decays with a sum of three exponential terms (decay times of ca. 0.14, 0.6, and 1.5 ns, with similar weights). Because the spectral similarities between film and aggregates indicate similar electronic first singlet excited states (and oscillator strengths), the much shorter decay times (0.05, 0.15, and 0.43 ns) and lower fluorescence quantum yield of P3HT in films are assigned to efficient exciton dissociation and/or phonon-induced internal conversion competing with radiative decay (>1 ns).

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