A potential candidate for trimolecular recombination?

Lately, we have talked about recombination, also discussing instances where trimolecular recombination has been observed experimentally. From the different excited states observed in organic solar cells, it is not obvious which combination could be participating in a trimolecular loss process. By the way, chemists seem to know the occurance of termolecular recombination, though in different circumstances.

One candidate for an excitation involving three species it the so called trion. Turkish Coast in November SunComing from inorganic semiconductor physics, and meaning charged exciton, it has been described for organic matter already more than 20 years ago [Pope 1984] as

bound exciton plus hole (excitonic ion)

In this review (including the references therein, in particular [Agranovich 1979]), an attractive interaction between exciton and charge is described.
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Polaron, Polaron Pair, Exciton, Exciplex, …

I’ve talked a lot about polaron pairs and excitons lately, and will continue to do so, Venus Transitthat this time I’ll give short explanations of what I am actually talking about. Call it definitions… ;-)

A polaron is a charge, i.e., an electron or a hole, plus a distortion of the charge’s surroundings. In a crystalline inorganic material, setting a charge onto a site does not change the surroundings, as the crystal lattice is rigid. Not so in many disordered organic materials. Putting a charge onto a certain molecular site can deform the whole molecule. Moving the charge from this to another molecule means that first the energy for the deformation – the polaron binding energy or reorganisation energy – has to be mustered. The implication is that charge transport becomes more difficult, the charge carrier mobility becomes lower, … This process is also described as self-trapping. As a side note, it is often difficult to distinguish between the influence of polaronic self-trapping and of gaussian disorder, as both have a similar impact on the charge transport properties. This similarity is also reflected in the corresponding hopping rates used to calculate charge transport: Marcus theory is a function of the reorganisation energy, where as the Miller Abrahams rate [Miller 1960] is related to the energetic disorder of the density of states. The polaronic deformation can be quantified in terms of a (lattice) polarisation, or a phonon cloud, or just as the above-mentioned polaron binding energy. Mostly, however, when hearing polaron, think charge;-) See also what wikipedia has to say about polarons.

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