Intermolecular Charge-Transfer-Induced Strong Optical Emission from Herringbone H-Aggregates

Nano Lett. 2021 Jun 23;21(12):5394-5400. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c01734. Epub 2021 Jun 14.


Luminescence in molecular aggregates can be quenched either by intermolecular charge transfer or by forming a dipole-forbidden lower Frenkel exciton in H-aggregate. Taking intermolecular charge transfer and excitonic coupling into a three-state model through localized diabatization, we demonstrate that the low-lying intermolecular charge-transfer state could couple with the upper bright Frenkel exciton to form dipole-allowed S1 that lies below the dark state, which accounts for the recent experimentally discovered strong luminescence in organic light-emitting transistors (OLETs) system with DPA and dNaAnt herringbone aggregates. The condition of forming such bright state is that the electron and hole transfer integrals, te and th, are of the same sign, and should be notably larger than the excitonic coupling (J), that is , te × th > 2J2. This theoretical finding not only rationalizes recent experiments but unravels an exciting scenario where strong luminescence and high charge mobilities become compatible, which is a preferable condition for both OLETs and electrically pumped lasing.

Keywords: H-aggregates; OLET; carrier mobility; photoluminescence quantum yield.