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Study of Hopping Transport in Long Oligothiophenes and Oligoselenophenes: Dependence of Reorganization Energy on Chain Length



Internal reorganization energies for self-exchange hole-transfer process were calculated at the B3LYP/6-31G(d) level of theory for a series of oligothiophenes and oligoselenophenes up to the 50-mers. This is the first study of reorganization energy in very long π-conjugated systems. We observed a linear correlation between reorganization energy and the reciprocal chain length for these long π-conjugated heterocyclic oligomers, which can be explained by the changes in bond length that occur between the neutral and cation radical species and by the charge distribution in the cation radicals. In contrast to the saturation behavior observed for the HOMO–LUMO gaps of long π-conjugated heterocyclic oligomers, the reorganization energy does not show saturation behavior for any length of the oligomers in this study, even up to the 50-mers. Interestingly, the reorganization energy approaches zero for infinite numbers of oligomer units (at the B3LYP/6-31G(d) level of theory), that is, for polythiophene and polyselenophene. The absolute values of the reorganization energies of oligoselenophenes, and the changes that occur in those energies with chain length, are similar to those found for oligothiophenes.