Vibronic Photoexcitation Dynamics of Perylene Diimide: Computational Insights

Hassiel Negrin-Yuvero, Aliya Mukazhanova, Victor M. Freixas, Sergei Tretiak, Sahar Sharifzadeh, Sebastian Fernandez-Alberti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perylene diimide (PDI) represents a prototype material for organic optoelectronic devices because of its strong optical absorbance, chemical stability, efficient energy transfer, and optical and chemical tunability. Herein, we analyze in detail the vibronic relaxation of its photoexcitation using nonadiabatic excited-state molecular dynamics simulations. We find that after the absorption of a photon, which excites the electron to the second excited state, S2, induced vibronic dynamics features persistent modulations in the spatial localization of electronic and vibrational excitations. These energy exchanges are dictated by strong vibronic couplings that overcome structural disorders and thermal fluctuations. Specifically, the electronic wavefunction periodically swaps between localizations on the right and left sides of the molecule. Within 1 ps of such dynamics, a nonradiative transition to the lowest electronic state, S1, takes place, resulting in a complete delocalization of the wavefunction. The observed vibronic dynamics emerges following the electronic energy deposition in the direction that excites a combination of two dominant vibrational normal modes. This behavior is maintained even with a chemical substitution that breaks the symmetry of the molecule. We believe that our findings elucidate the nature of the complex dynamics of the optically excited states and, therefore, contribute to the development of tunable functionalities of PDIs and their derivatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-741
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


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