Theoretical Characterizations of TADF Materials: Roles of ΔG and the Singlet–Triplet Excited States Interconversion
journal contributionposted on 2021-02-15, 18:33 authored by Lu Wang, Qi Ou, Qian Peng, Zhigang Shuai
The thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) phenomenon has attracted increasing attention because it can harvest 100% of the electro-pumped carriers to form singlet bound excited state for fluorescence. It is generally believed that the small energy gap between S1 and T1 (ΔEST) is essential for TADF to facilitate the reverse intersystem crossing (rISC). However, for a few donor–acceptor (D–A) organic compounds with small ΔEST, the TADF phenomenon is absent, indicating that ΔEST might not be a good molecular descriptor. Here, using our self-developed thermal vibration correlation function (TVCF) formalism in combination with quantum chemistry calculations, we revisit the key factors that dominate the TADF property for 11 D–A systems with small ΔEST. Based on our theoretical results in comparison to experiments, we conclude that the activation energy ΔG is a good molecular descriptor to characterize the TADF performance because a significantly better linear relationship is observed between ΔG and the rISC rate constant (krISC) compared to that between ΔEST and krISC. These findings provide deeper understanding of the TADF mechanism, shedding light on the molecular design of high-performance TADF materials.