American Chemical Society
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Ultrafast Dynamics of Frenkel Excitons in Tetracene and Rubrene Single Crystals

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-06-17, 00:00 authored by Brantley A. West, Jordan M. Womick, L. E. McNeil, Ke Jie Tan, Andrew M. Moran
Characteristics of thermally driven environmental motion (i.e., spectral densities) similarly control energy and charge-transport processes in self-assembled molecular aggregates, crystalline molecular solids, and photosynthetic antennae. A true microscopic understanding of these transport processes necessarily involves decomposing the spectral density of thermal noise into contributions from specific nuclear motions (i.e., modes). To this end, molecular solids may serve as excellent model systems due to their known crystal structures and well-defined intermolecular modes. Here, the electronic relaxation dynamics of tetracene (Tc) and rubrene (Rb) single crystals are investigated using a variety of nonlinear optical spectroscopies in conjunction with a Frenkel exciton model. Parameterization of the model is achieved by comparing simulated optical signals with those measured in experiments. In addition, electronic population transfer rates are computed with this same set of parameters using a modified Redfield theory. An important aspect of the model is its use of femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopies to obtain nuclear mode-specific spectral densities (i.e., polarizability spectral densities). Attainment of the spectral densities facilitates the interpretation of electronic spectroscopies, which are sensitive to both exciton delocalization and population transfer kinetics. One important prediction of the model, which is based on the comparison of low-temperature linear absorption spectra and model calculations, is that the exciton sizes for both Tc and Rb are approximately 18 molecules at 200 and 78 K, respectively. In addition, transient grating experiments detect sub-100 fs intraband population transfer processes in both crystals. Photon echo experiments and model calculations further support the assignment of these dynamics to electronic population transfer. The role of spatial correlations in the spectral densities at different molecular sites is also investigated. Calculations predict a remarkable behavior in which variation in the amount of spatial correlation for just a single mode in the spectral density, among many, causes the electronic relaxation rates to vary over an order of magnitude. This finding holds for both crystals and will likely generalize to molecular aggregates and photosynthetic antennae, thereby contributing to a microscopic understanding of phenomena that originate in spatially correlated fluctuations (e.g., coherent energy transfer).