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Electronic energy transfer processes in pi-conjugated polymers


Keivanidis,  Panagiotis E.
MPI for Polymer Research, Max Planck Society;

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Keivanidis, P. E. (2004). Electronic energy transfer processes in pi-conjugated polymers. PhD Thesis, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz.

Currently pi-conjugated polymers are considered as technologically interesting materials to be used as functional building elements for the development of the new generation of optoelectronic devices. More specifically during the last few years, poly-p-phenylene materials have attracted considerable attention for their blue photoluminescence properties. This Thesis deals with the optical properties of the most representative blue light poly-p-phenylene emitters such as poly(fluorene), oligo(fluorene), poly(indenofluorene) and ladder-type penta(phenylene) derivatives. In the present work, laser induced photoluminescence spectroscopy is used as a major tool for the study of the interdependence between the dynamics of the probed photoluminescence, the molecular structures of the prepared polymeric films and the presence of chemical defects. Complementary results obtained by two-dimensional wide-angle X-ray diffraction are reported. These findings show that the different optical properties observed are influenced by the intermolecular solid-state interactions that in turn are controlled by the pendant groups of the polymer backbone. A significant feedback is delivered regarding the positive impact of a new synthetic route for the preparation of a poly(indenofluorene) derivative on the spectral purity of the compound. The energy transfer mechanisms that operate in the studied systems are addressed by doping experiments. After the evaluation of the structure/property interdependence, a new optical excitation pathway is presented. An efficient photon low-energy up-conversion that sensitises the blue emission of poly(fluorene) is demonstrated. The observed phenomenon takes place in poly(fluorene) derivatives hosts doped with metallated octaethyl porphyrins, after quasi-CW photoexcitation of intensities in the order of kW/cm2. The up-conversion process is parameterised in terms of temperature, wavelength excitation and central metal cation in the porphyrin ring. Additionally the observation of the up-conversion is extended in a broad range of poly-p-phenylene blue light emitting hosts. The dependence of the detected up-conversion intensity on the excitation intensity and doping concentration is reported. Furthermore the dynamics of the up-conversion intensity are monitored as a function of the doping concentration. These experimental results strongly suggest the existence of triplet-triplet annihilation events into the porphyrin molecules that are subsequently followed by energy transfer to the host. After confirming the occurrence of the up-conversion in solutions, cyclic voltammetry is used in order to show that the up-conversion efficiency is partially determined from the energetic alignment between the HOMO levels of the host and the dopant.