Effect of trans- and cis-isomeric defects on the localization of the charged excitations in π-conjugated organic polymers

Authors

  • Iffat H. Nayyar,

    1. Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
    2. NanoScience Technology Center, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
    3. Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
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  • Enrique R. Batista,

    1. Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
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  • Sergei Tretiak,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
    • Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
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  • Avadh Saxena,

    1. Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
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  • Darryl L. Smith,

    1. Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
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  • Richard L. Martin

    1. Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
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  • This article is a U.S. Government work, and as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

Correspondence to: S. Tretiak (E-mail: serg@lanl.gov)

ABSTRACT

We use the long-range-corrected hybrid density functional theory models to study the effect of various conformational distortions of weak-trans and strong-cis nature on the spatial localization of charged states in poly(p-phenylene vinylene) (PPV) and its derivative poly[2-methoxy-5-(2′-ethylhexyloxy)-p-phenylene vinylene] (MEH-PPV). The extent of self-trapping of positive (P+) and negative (P) polarons is observed to be highly sensitive to molecular conformation that, in turn, controls the distribution of atomic charges within the polymers. It is shown that, to reach good agreement with recent experimental data on lattice distortion for P+ and P excitations, the polarization of the medium plays a critical role. The introduction of weak-trans defects along the MEH-PPV chain breaks the observed symmetry for P+ and P excitations. The P states exhibit more spatial localization owing to lattice relaxation than their vacuum counterparts in contrast to P+. These observations suggest higher mobilities of holes than that of electrons in MEH-PPV, in agreement with the experimental observations. The predicted binding, reorganization, and solvation energies for PPV and MEH-PPV are analyzed for this difference in the response behavior of holes and electrons for trans and cis distortions. This study allows for a better understanding of charge-transport and photophysical properties in π-conjugated organic materials by analyzing their underlying structure–property correlations. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2013, 51, 935–942

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