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QUANTUM EFFECTS IN EXCITON TRANSPORT AND INTERACTION IN MOLECULAR AGGREGATES
Long-range exciton transport, when coupled with reduced exciton-exciton annihilation (EEA), is pivotal for the enhanced performance of organic photovoltaics and the efficiency of natural light-harvesting systems. This thesis explores strategies to optimize exciton transport and EEA rates in molecular materials by manipulating the quantum nature of excitons, particularly exciton delocalization. In addition, we also aim to understand factors limiting the transport of delocalized excitons within molecular materials. To this end, self-assembled perylene diimide (PDI) molecular aggregates are ideal candidates for this study due to their conducive properties for engineering exciton delocalization. Chapter 1 establishes a fundamental understanding of exciton delocalization, outlining strategies to tune this phenomenon within PDI aggregates and presenting the open questions this thesis addresses. Chapter 2 details the synthesis of PDI aggregates and delineates the spectroscopic techniques used for characterization, including steady-state absorption and emission, transient photoluminescence (PL), and transient absorption spectroscopy. It also describes the microscopy methods implemented to visualize exciton transport, such as transient PL microscopy and transient absorption microscopy (TAM). Chapter 3 introduces the thesis's primary theme: the suppression of exciton-exciton annihilation (EEA) in molecular aggregates through quantum interference. This chapter demonstrates that the spatial phase relationship of delocalized excitons is crucial in EEA, with band bottom excitons in H aggregates exhibiting an oscillating spatial phase relationship displaying a coherent suppression of EEA. Chapter 4 discusses how coupling to static and dynamic disorder affects coherent exciton propagation. High spatial and temporal resolution TAM experiments, along with temperature-dependent studies, help disentangle the contributions of static and dynamic disorder to exciton transport. Chapter 5 delves into the concept of band shape engineering, whereby the microscopic electronic couplings within PDI aggregates are fine-tuned by altering the packing motifs to regulate exciton transport. Through low-temperature TAM experiments, this chapter illustrates how the interplay between long-range Coulombic and short-range charge transfer electronic couplings can determine exciton bandwidth and influence the coherent propagation of excitons. Chapter 6 provides a summary of the work and discusses future directions, paving the way for continued exploration in the field of exciton transport and interaction in molecular aggregates.
Quantum Computing Algorithms and Applications for Coherent and Strongly Correlated Chemical Systems
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- Doctor of Philosophy
- West Lafayette