Electron-lattice dynamics in ?-conjugated systems

by Hultell (Andersson), Magnus, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
The work presented in this thesis concerns the dynamics in ?-conjugated hydrocarbon systems. Due to the molecular bonding structure of these systems there exists a coupling between the electronic system and the phonons of the lattice. If this interaction, which is referred to as the electron-phonon (e-ph) coupling, is sufficiently strong it may cause externally introduced charge carriers to self-localize in a polarization cloud of lattice distortions. These quasi-particles are, if singly charged, termed polarons, the localization length of which, aside from the e-ph coupling strength, also depend upon the structural and energetic disorder of the system. In disordered systems localization is strong and transport is facilitated by nonadiabatic hopping of charge carriers from one localized state to the next, whereas in well-ordered systems, where extended states are formed, adiabatic transport models apply.Despite great academic efforts a unified model for charge transport in ?-conjugated systems is still lacking and further investigations are necessary to uncover the basic physics at hand in these systems. The call for such efforts has been the main guidelines for the work presented in this thesis and are related to the topics of papers I-IV. In order to capture the coupled electron-lattice dynamics, we use a methodological approach where we obtain the time-dependence of the electronic degrees of freedom from the solutions to the time-dependent Schrödinger equation and determine the ionic motion in the evolving charge density distribution by simultaneously solving the lattice equation of motion within the potential field of the ions. The Hamiltonian used to describe the system is derived from an extension of the famous Su-Schrieffer-Heeger (SSH) model extended to three-dimensional systems.In papers I-III we explore the impact of phenylene ring torsion on delocalization and transport properties in poly(para-phenylene vinylene) (PPV). The physics that we are particularly interested in relates to the reduced electron transfer integral strength across the interconnection between the phenylene rings and the vinylene groups upon ring torsion. Keeping this in mind, we demonstrate in paper I the impact of static ring torsion on intrachain mobility and provide a detailed analysis of the influence of the potential barriers (due to consecutive ring torsion) on the nature of charge carrier propagation. In paper II we extend our initial approach to include also the dynamics of ring torsion. We show that without any externally applied electric field, this type of dynamics is the dominant property controlling intrachain propagation, but that when an external electric field is applied, charge carriers may traverse the potential barriers through a process that involves nonadiabatic effects and a temporary delocalization of the polaron state. Finally, in paper III we study the impact of the lattice dynamics on the electron localization properties in PPV and show that the phenylene ring torsion modes couples strongly to the electronic wave function which gives rise to electron localization at room temperature.In papers IV and V we focus on the dynamics of molecular crystals using a stack of pentacene molecules in the single crystal configuration as a model system, but study, in paper IV, the transport as a function of the intermolecular interaction strength, J. We observe a smooth transition from a nonadiabatic to an adiabatic polaron drift process over the regime 20Bibliographical Information:


School:Linköpings universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Physics; Other physics; Computational physics; charge transport; electron-lattice dynamics; polaron; adiabatic transport; electron localization; internal conversion


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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