Nicolas Kerisit, Przemyslaw Gawel, Claire E. Miller, Nils Trapp, Ryan M. Young, Catherine M. Mauck, Yi-Lin Wu, François Diederich, Eric A. Margulies, Lin Ma, Michael R. Wasielewski
Cyano-substituted tetracenes (5,11-dicyano-6,12-diphenyltetracene, Tet) undergo exoergic singlet fission (SF), a spin-allowed photophysical process that generates a pair of triplet excitons from one singlet exciton. To elucidate substituent effects on SF, we have measured the SF dynamics and triplet yields of thin films, formed by Tet bearing hydrogen (H), methyl (Me), fluoro (F), and trimethylsilyl (TMS) substituents on the p-phenyl positions and on the 3 and 9 positions of the tetracene core, by time-resolved spectroscopy in the vis-NIR and IR regions. The H-, Me-, and F-Tet display strong intramolecular electronic coupling (π–π distances <4 Å), and SF gives high triplet exciton yields up to 200% (quantitative). In addition, a charge-transfer state mediates SF in F-Tet films, while H-Tet and Me-Tet show no evidence for such a state. Correlations between the SF yields and the crystal structure show that chromophore slippage along both their short and long axes allows efficient SF and that a large degree of π contact between the chromophores is not necessary for rapid and efficient SF in the solid state. As expected, the large interchromophore distance in TMS-Tet (>4 Å) reduces its SF triplet yield to about 60%.