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J Chem Phys. 2011 Dec 7;135(21):214508. doi: 10.1063/1.3664630.

The dependence of singlet exciton relaxation on excitation density and temperature in polycrystalline tetracene thin films: kinetic evidence for a dark intermediate state and implications for singlet fission.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, California 92521, USA.


The excited state dynamics of polycrystalline tetracene films are studied using femtosecond transient absorption in combination with picosecond fluorescence, continuing work reported in an earlier paper [J. J. Burdett, A. M. Muller, D. Gosztola, and C. J. Bardeen, J. Chem. Phys. 133, 144506 (2010)]. A study of the intensity dependence of the singlet state decay is conducted to understand the origins of the discrepancy between the broadband transient absorption and fluorescence experiments seen previously. High-sensitivity single channel transient absorption experiments allow us to compare the transient absorption dynamics to the fluorescence dynamics measured at identical laser fluences. At high excitation densities, an exciton-exciton annihilation rate constant of ~1 × 10(-8) cm(3) s(-1) leads to rapid singlet decays, but at excitation densities of 2 × 10(17) cm(-3) or less the kinetics of the transient absorption match those of the fluorescence. At these lower excitation densities, both measurements confirm that the initially excited singlet state relaxes with a decay time of 80 ± 3 ps, not 9.2 ps as claimed in the earlier paper. In order to investigate the origin of the singlet decay, the wavelength-resolved fluorescence dynamics were measured at 298 K, 77 K, and 4 K. A high-energy J-type emitting species undergo a rapid (~100 ps) decay at all temperatures, while at 77 K and 4 K additional species with H-type and J-type emission lineshapes have much longer lifetimes. A global analysis of the wavelength-dependent decays shows that the initial ~100 ps decay occurs to a dark state and not via energy transfer to lower energy bright states. Varying the excitation wavelength from 400 nm to 510 nm had no effect on the fast decay, suggesting that there is no energy threshold for the initial singlet relaxation. The presence of different emitting species at different temperatures means that earlier interpretations of the fluorescence behavior in terms of one singlet state that is short-lived due to singlet fission at high temperatures but long-lived at lower temperatures are probably too simplistic. The presence of a rapid singlet decay at all temperatures indicates that the initially created J-type singlet exciton decays to an intermediate that only produces free triplets (and delayed fluorescence) at high temperatures.


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