Date of Degree

6-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Physics

Advisor(s)

Seogjoo Jang

Committee Members

Vinod M. Menon

Lev G. Murokh

Neepa T. Maitra

David Reichman

Subject Categories

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics | Quantum Physics

Keywords

Spectral Lineshape, DEHPPV, Conjugated Polymer, Single Molecule Emission Spectroscopy

Abstract

Conjugated Polymers(CPs) exhibit a wide range of highly tunable optical properties. Quantitative and detailed understanding of the nature of excitons responsible for such a rich optical behavior has significant implications for better utilization of CPs for more efficient plastic solar cells and other novel optoelectronic devices. In general, samples of CPs are plagued with substantial inhomogeneous broadening due to various sources of disorder. Single molecule emission spectroscopy (SMES) offers a unique opportunity to investigate the energetics and dynamics of excitons and their interactions with phonon modes. The major subject of the present thesis is to analyze and understand room temperature SMES lineshapes for a particular CP, called poly(2,5-di-(2'-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene)(DEH-PPV). A minimal quantum mechanical model of a two-level system coupled to a Brownian oscillator bath is utilized. The main objective is to identify the set of model parameters best fitting a SMES lineshape for each of about 200 samples of DEH-PPV, from which new insight into the nature of exciton-bath coupling can be gained. This project also entails developing a reliable computational methodology for quantum mechanical modeling of spectral lineshapes in general. Well-known optimization techniques such as gradient descent, genetic algorithms, and heuristic searches have been tested, employing an $L^2$ measure between theoretical and experimental lineshapes for guiding the optimization. However, all of these tend to result in theoretical lineshapes qualitatively different from experimental ones. This is attributed to the ruggedness of the parameter space and inadequateness of the $L^2$ measure. On the other hand, when the dynamic reduction of the original parameter space to a 2-parameter space through feature searching and visualization of the search space paths using directed acyclic graphs(DAGs), the qualitative nature of the fitting improved significantly. For a more satisfactory fitting, it is shown that the inclusion of an additional energetic disorder is essential, representing the effect of quasi-static disorder accumulated during the SMES of each polymer. Various technical details, ambiguous issues, and implication of the present work are discussed.

 
 

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