Spectroscopic Studies of Photoexcitations in Regioregular and Regiorandom Polythiophene Films



Using a variety of optical probe techniques we studied the steady state and transient dynamics of charged and neutral photoexcitations in thin films of poly-3-alkyl thiophene with regioregular order, which forms self-assembled lamellae structures with increased interchain interaction, as well as regiorandom order that keeps a chain-like morphology. In regiorandom polythiophene films we found that intrachain excitons with correlated photoinduced absorption and stimulated emission bands are the primary photoexcitations; they give rise to a moderately strong photoluminescence band, and long-lived triplet excitons and intrachain charged polarons. In regioregular polythiophene films, on the contrary we found that the primary photoexcitations are excitons with much larger interchain component; this results in lack of stimulated emission, vanishing intersystem crossing, and a very weak photoluminescence band. The long-lived photoexcitations in regioregular polythiophene films are interchain excitons and delocalized polarons (DP) within the lamellae, with very small relaxation energy. The characteristic properties of the DP species are thoroughly investigated as a function of the alkyl side group of the polymer backbone, film deposition conditions and solvents used, as well as at high hydrostatic pressure. The quantum interference between the low energy absorption band of the DP species and a series of photoinduced infrared active vibrations, which give rise to antiresonances that are superimposed on the electronic absorption band is studied and explained by a Fano-type interference mechanism, using the amplitude mode model.