Influence of chain length and derivatization on the lowest singlet and triplet states and intersystem crossing in oligothiophenes

D. Beljonne, J. Cornil, R. H. Friend, R. A.J. Janssen, J. L. Brédas

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240 Scopus citations


On the basis of configuration interaction calculations, we first describe the nature of the lowest singlet and triplet excited states in oligothiophenes ranging in size from two to six rings. We calculate the vertical excitation energies from the singlet ground state S0 to the first one-photon allowed singlet excited state S1 as well as the energy difference between the ground state and the lowest triplet state T1. The computed transition energies are in very good agreement with the measured values and indicate a strong confinement of the lowest triplet. We also uncover the nature of the higher-lying triplet excited state T(n) that is coupled via a large oscillator strength to T1. The evolution with chain length of the T1-T(n) excitation energies compares well with the experimental evolution based on photoinduced absorption data. Next, we investigate the geometry relaxation phenomena occurring in the S1 and T1 states; more pronounced and localized bond-length deformations are calculated in the triplet state than in the singlet, confirming the more localized character of T1. We also analyze the influence on the lowest excited states of grafting electroactive end-groups on the conjugated path of terthiophene. Finally, the various mechanisms involved in the nonradiative decay of the singlet excitations are discussed, and results are presented as a guide toward the optimization of light emission efficiency in conjugated systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6453-6461
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 10 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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