Electronic Delocalization, Vibrational Dynamics, and Energy Transfer in Organic Chromophores

Tammie Nelson, Sebastian Fernandez-Alberti, Adrian E. Roitberg, Sergei Tretiak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The efficiency of materials developed for solar energy and technological applications depends on the interplay between molecular architecture and light-induced electronic energy redistribution. The spatial localization of electronic excitations is very sensitive to molecular distortions. Vibrational nuclear motions can couple to electronic dynamics driving changes in localization. The electronic energy transfer among multiple chromophores arises from several distinct mechanisms that can give rise to experimentally measured signals. Atomistic simulations of coupled electron-vibrational dynamics can help uncover the nuclear motions directing energy flow. Through careful analysis of excited state wave function evolution and a useful fragmenting of multichromophore systems, through-bond transport and exciton hopping (through-space) mechanisms can be distinguished. Such insights are crucial in the interpretation of fluorescence anisotropy measurements and can aid materials design. This Perspective highlights the interconnected vibrational and electronic motions at the foundation of nonadiabatic dynamics where nuclear motions, including torsional rotations and bond vibrations, drive electronic transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3020-3031
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


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