Influence of Nanostructure on the Exciton Dynamics of Multichromophore Donor-Acceptor Block Copolymers

JL Xia and E Busby and SN Sanders and C Tung and A Cacciuto and MY Sfeir and LM Campos, ACS NANO, 11, 4593-4598 (2017).

DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b00056

We explore the synthesis and photophysics of nanostructured block copolymers that mimic light-harvesting complexes. We find that the combination of a polar and electron-rich boron dipyrromethene (BODIPY) block with a nonpolar electron-poor perylene diimide (PDI) block yields a polymer that self-assembles into ordered "nanoworms". Numerical simulations are used to determine optimal compositions to achieve robust self-assembly. Photoluminescence spectroscopy is used to probe the rich exciton dynamics in these systems. Using controls, such as homopolymers and random copolymers, we analyze the mechanisms of the photoluminescence from these polymers. This understanding allows us to probe in detail the photophysics of the block copolymers, including the effects of their self-assembly into nanostructures on their excited- state properties. Similar to natural systems, ordered nanostructures result in properties that are starkly different than the properties of free polymers in solution, such as enhanced rates of electronic energy transfer and elimination of excitonic emission from disordered PDI trap states.

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