Vacancy control in acene blends links exothermic singlet fission to coherence

Clemens Zeiser, Chad Cruz, David R. Reichman, Michael Seitz, Jan Hagenlocher, Eric L. Chronister, Christopher J. Bardeen, Roel Tempelaar*, Katharina Broch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The fission of singlet excitons into triplet pairs in organic materials holds great technological promise, but the rational application of this phenomenon is hampered by a lack of understanding of its complex photophysics. Here, we use the controlled introduction of vacancies by means of spacer molecules in tetracene and pentacene thin films as a tuning parameter complementing experimental observables to identify the operating principles of different singlet fission pathways. Time-resolved spectroscopic measurements in combination with microscopic modelling enables us to demonstrate distinct scenarios, resulting from different singlet-to-triplet pair energy alignments. For pentacene, where fission is exothermic, coherent mixing between the photoexcited singlet and triplet-pair states is promoted by vibronic resonances, which drives the fission process with little sensitivity to the vacancy concentration. Such vibronic resonances do not occur for endothermic materials such as tetracene, for which we find fission to be fully incoherent; a process that is shown to slow down with increasing vacancy concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5149
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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