Ultrafast Twisting of the Indoline Donor Unit Utilized in Solar Cell Dyes: Experimental and Theoretical Studies
2015 (English)In: The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, ISSN 1932-7447, E-ISSN 1932-7455, Vol. 119, no 5, 2249-2259 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Previous time-resolved measurements on D149, the most-studied dye of the indoline family, had shown a fast time-component of 20-40 ps that had tentatively been attributed to structural relaxation. Using femtosecond transient absorption, we have investigated the isolated indoline donor unit (i.e., without acceptor group) and found an ultrafast decay characterized by two lifetimes of 3.5 and 23 ps. Density functional theory calculations show p-bonding and p*-antibonding character of the central ethylene group for the highest occupied and lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (HOMO and LUMO), respectively. The LUMO is localized on the flexible vinyl-diphenyl region of the donor unit and a twisting process is assumed to occur as a deactivation process for the excited molecule. This is confirmed by multireference second-order perturbation theory (CASSCF/CASPT2) calculations of the lowest-lying excited state, in which it is shown that torsion of the ethylene bond to 96 degrees and pyramidalization to ca. 100 degrees lead to a conical intersection with the ground state. Embedded in a plastic matrix, where double bond rotation is hindered, the decay is slowed down to nanoseconds. We have also investigated the dyes D102, D131, and D149, possessing the same indoline donor unit, by femtosecond transient absorption and found a similar decay component. The ca. 20 ps deactivation channel in D-family dyes is thus attributed to a twisting process of the donor unit. The fluorescence quantum yields of this unit and D149 were measured, and from comparison, the competition of the discovered twisting deactivation channel to the radiative decay of the excited indoline dyes could be confirmed. Blocking this deactivation channel is expected to further increase efficiency for the indoline dyes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 119, no 5, 2249-2259 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-247391DOI: 10.1021/jp505649sISI: 000349136400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-247391DiVA: diva2:796911