Excited-state structure of oligothiophene dendrimers: Computational and experimental study

Ekaterina Badaeva, Michael R. Harpham, Ramakrishna Guda, Özgün Süzer, Chang Qi Ma, Peter Bäuerle, Theodore Goodson, Sergei Tretiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The nature of one and two-photon absorption enhancement in a series of oligothiophene dendrimers, recently proposed for applications in entangled photon sensors and solar cells, has been analyzed using both theory (time dependent density functional theory calculations) and experiment (fluorescence upconversion measurements). The linear absorption spectra exhibit a red shift of the absorption maxima and broadening as a function of dendrimer generations. The two-photon absorption cross sections increase sharply with the number of thiophene units in the dendrimer. The cooperative enhancement in absorption two-photon cross sections is explained by (i) an increase in the excited-state density for larger molecules and (ii) delocalization of the low-lying excited states over extended thiophene chains. Fluorescence anisotropy measurements and examination of the calculated excited-state properties reveal that this delocalization is accompanied by a size-dependent decrease in excited-state symmetries. A substantial red shift of the emission maxima for larger dendrimers is explained through the vibronic planarization of the longest linear α-thiophene chain for the emitting excited state. For higher generations, the fluorescence quantum yield decreases due to increased nonradiative decay efficiency (e.g., intersystem crossing). The detailed information about the dendrimer 3D structure and excitations provides guidance for further optimizations of dendritic structures for nonlinear optical and opto-electronic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15808-15817
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


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