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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Singlet Fission in a para-Azaquinodimethane-Based Quinoidal Conjugated Polymer


The exploitation of singlet fission (SF) in photovoltaic devices is restricted by the limited number of SF materials available and the conflicting requirement of intermolecular interactions to satisfy both efficient SF and subsequent triplet extraction. Intramolecular SF (iSF) represents an emerging alternative and may prove simpler to implement in devices. On account of the excellent chemical structure tunability and solution processability, conjugated polymers have emerged as promising candidates for iSF materials despite being largely underexplored. It remains a significant challenge to develop SF-capable conjugated polymers and achieve efficient dissociation of the formed triplet pairs simultaneously. In this contribution, we present a new iSF material in a para-azaquinodimethane-based quinoidal conjugated polymer. Using transient optical techniques, we show that an ultrafast iSF process dominates the deactivation of the excited state in such polymer, featuring ultrafast population (<1 ps) and stepwise dissociation of triplet pairs. Notably, these multiexciton states could further diffuse apart to produce long-lived free triplets (tens of μs) in strongly coupled aggregates in solid thin film. Such findings not only introduce a new iSF-active conjugated polymer to the rare SF material family but also shed unique insight into interchain interaction-promoted triplet pair dissociation in aggregates of conjugated polymers, thus openning new avenues for developing next-generation SF-based photovoltaic materials.

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