Switching resonance character within merocyanine stacks and its impact on excited-state dynamics

Taeyeon Kim, Seongsoo Kang, Eva Kirchner, David Bialas, Woojae Kim, Frank Würthner, Dongho Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the optical properties and excited-state dynamics of the unique self-assembled donor-acceptor (DA) merocyanine dye stacks from dimer up to octamer, prepared via dipole-dipole interactions, are reported in terms of coherent exciton dynamics and formation of an excimer-like state. Our findings are based on the steady-state absorption/emission, time-resolved fluorescence, and transient absorption (anisotropy) measurements, including wavepacket analysis and quantum mechanical calculations. Coherent exciton of torsional motions-restricted dye stacks rapidly localizes into the weakly emissive excimer-like state, by shortening the inter-moiety distance and changing the bond-length alternation pattern. The inner merocyanine moiety, having two neighboring units, has a reversed resonance character (non-polar (N) < zwitterionic (Z)) compared with the outer moiety (N > Z) in the ground state. This difference has led to two conclusions: (1) tetramers and octamers exhibit different features of excimer-like state than the dimer, and (2) octamers exhibit slower localization dynamics due to the enhanced homogeneity (six inner-moieties) compared with tetramers (two inner moieties).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-725
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 11

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Materials Chemistry


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