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J Chem Phys. 2005 Jun 15;122(23):234701.

Modeling disorder in polymer aggregates: the optical spectroscopy of regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) thin films.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Chem Phys. 2007 Apr 21;126(15):159901.


Absorption and emission in polymer aggregates is studied theoretically, taking into account excitonic (intermolecular) coupling, exciton-phonon (EP) coupling, and disorder, all treated on equal footing within a generalized Holstein Hamiltonian with numerically generated eigenmodes and energies. The disorder is modeled as a Gaussian distribution of molecular transition frequency offsets of width sigma and spatial correlation length l(0). Both herringbone (HB) and lamellar aggregate morphologies are considered. The emission spectral line shape is shown to undergo marked changes in response to increasing disorder, with the intensity of the ac-polarized 0-0 emission peak generally increasing relative to the replica intensities (0-1,0-2,[ellipsis (horizontal)]) as sigma increases and/or as l(0) decreases. This is contrary to the behavior of the b-polarized component of the 0-0 intensity, which, in HB aggregates, decreases with increasing disorder. Comparisons are made to analogous trends in oligomer aggregates. Analytical results are obtained in the strong EP coupling regime appropriate for conjugated polymers while treating the disorder perturbatively. A method for uniquely determining sigma and l(0) from the emission and absorption spectra is presented. Applications are made to absorption and low-temperature emission in thin films of regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene), with excellent agreement between theory and experiment obtained for a spatial correlation length of only 3-4 molecules.

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