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AIP Publishing

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Journal of Chemical Physics

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Studies of exciton and hole stabilization in multichromophoric systems underpin our understanding of electron transfer and transport in materials and biomolecules. The simplest model systems are dimeric, and recently we compared the gas-phase spectroscopy and dynamics of van der Waals dimers of fluorene, 9-methylfluorene (MF), and 9,9′-dimethylfluorene (F1) to assess how sterically controlled facial encumbrance modulates the dynamics of excimer formation and charge resonance stabilization (CRS). Dimers of fluorene and MF show only excimer emission upon electronic excitation, and significant CRS as evidenced in a reduced ionization potential for the dimer relative the monomer. By contrast, the dimer of F1 shows no excimeric emission, rather structured emission from the locally excited state of a tilted (non π-stacked) dimer, evidencing the importance of C–H/π interactions and increased steric constraints that restrict a cofacial approach. In this work, we report our full results on van der Waals clusters of F1, using a combination of theory and experiments that include laser-induced fluorescence, mass-selected two-color resonant two-photon ionization spectroscopy, and two-color appearance potential measurements. We use the latter to derive the binding energies of the F1 dimer in ground, excited, and cation radical states. Our results are compared with van der Waals and covalently linked clusters of fluorene to assess both the relative strength of π-stacking and C–H/π interactions in polyaromatic assemblies and the role of π-stacking in excimer formation and CRS.


Published version. Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol. 149, No. 13 (2018): 134314. DOI. © 2018 AIP Publishing. Used with permission.

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