Perylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxylic acid (PTCDA) and respective derivatives (e.g. perylene diimide - PDI) are widely used as dyes but also for device applications such as organic field effect transistors or in organic photovoltaics. Due to their intrinsically high quantum efficiencies they are also used as spectroscopic standards. One major drawback of these materials is their low solubility in organic solvents which can be addressed by long alkyl substitutions.
When introducing a tertiary amine into the molecule a mechanism known as photoinduced electron transfer (PET) can occur. Here, following an optically excited HOMO-LUMO transition of the core, an electron from the electron lone pair of the amine is transferred to the HOMO of the perylene core. Hence, radiative recombination is disallowed and photoluminescence effectively quenched.
Here, we perform a systematic study of the distance dependence of the PET by introducing alkyle groups as spacer units between PDI core and the tertiary amine. Dynamics of the PET are extracted from ultrafast time-resolved photoluminescence measurement data.
A rate equation model, simulating a three level system, reveals rate constant of the back electron transfer, otherwise not accessible with our experimental methods. Assuming a Marcus model of electron transfer, electronic coupling strength between the electronic states involved in the respective transitions can be calculated. In addition to the distance dependence, the effects of protonation and methylation of the the tertiary amine units are studied.
Robin Carl Döring, Eduard Baal, Jörg Sundermeyer, and Sangam Chatterjee, "Time-resolved measurement of intramolecular photoinduced electron transfer processes in perylene diimides (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10101, Organic Photonic Materials and Devices XIX, 101010H (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254325.5390916564001.
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