Recent single molecule experiments have suggested the existence of a photochemical funnel in the photophysics of conjugated polymers, like poly[2-methoxy-5-(2′-ethylhexyl)oxy-1,4-phenylenevinylene] (MEH-PPV). The funnel is believed to be a consequence of the presence of conformational or chemical defects along the polymer chain and efficient non-radiative energy transfer among different chromophore segments. Here we address the effect of the excitation energy dynamics on the photophysics of PPV. The PPV chain is modeled as a polymer with the length distribution of chromophores given either by a Gaussian or by a Poisson distribution. We observe that the Poisson distribution of the segment lengths explains the photophysics of PPV better than the Gaussian distribution. A recently proposed version of an extended ‘particle-in-a-box’ model is used to calculate the exciton energies and the transition dipole moments of the chromophores, and a master equation to describe the excitation energy transfer among different chromophores. The rate of energy transfer is assumed to be given here, as a first approximation, by the well-known Förster expression. The observed excitation population dynamics confirms the photochemical funneling of excitation energy from shorter to longer chromophores of the polymer chain. The time scale of spectral shift and energy transfer for our model polymer, with realistic values of optical parameters, is in the range of 200–300 ps. We find that the excitation energy may not always migrate towards the longest chromophore segments in the polymer chain as the efficiency of energy transfer between chromophores depends on the separation distance between the two and their relative orientation.
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