Origin of the Red Sites and Energy Transfer Rates in Single MEH-PPV Chains at Low Temperature

Authors

  • Dr. Florian A. Feist,

    1. Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, 55099 Mainz (Germany), Fax: (+49) 6131-39-23953
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  • Martin F. Zickler,

    1. Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, 55099 Mainz (Germany), Fax: (+49) 6131-39-23953
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  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Basché

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, 55099 Mainz (Germany), Fax: (+49) 6131-39-23953
    • Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, 55099 Mainz (Germany), Fax: (+49) 6131-39-23953
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  • MEH-PPV: poly[2-methoxy-5-(2′-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylene vinylene]

Abstract

Single poly[2-methoxy-5-(2′-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylene vinylene] (MEH-PPV) molecules dispersed in thin poly(methylmethacrylate) films have been investigated by fluorescence emission, excitation and time-resolved spectroscopy at 1.2 K. For the molecular weight studied (∼200 kDa) a bimodal distribution of emission maxima is observed. Based on a comparison of the spectroscopic properties of blue and red sites and on polarisation-resolved measurements, we argue in agreement with recent quantum-chemical calculations that the red subpopulation most probably does not arise from interchromophoric excitation delocalisation but is to be attributed to longer chromophoric units originating from ordered regions of a polymer chain, where due to constraints on the chain conformation larger conjugation lengths can be realised. In excitation spectra within the red spectral region we can identify multiple chromophoric units, among them chromophores without correspondence in the emission spectrum—donors of the intramolecular energy transfer. Zero-phonon lines of donor chromophores proved to be significantly broadened, indicating fast excited-state population decay due to energy transfer. Thus, a distribution of energy transfer times within MEH-PPV chains could be determined from donor zero-phonon line widths, with an average value of 3.9 ps. Our study represents the first direct measurement of energy transfer times in conjugated polymers, parameters that are crucial for the performance of many technical applications based on this class of material.

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