Structural rigidity accelerates quantum decoherence and extends carrier lifetime in porphyrin nanoballs: a time domain atomistic simulation†
Nonradiative electron–hole (e–h) recombination is the primary source of energy loss in photovoltaic cells and inevitably, it competes with the charge transfer process, leading to poor device performance. Therefore, much attention has to be paid for delaying such processes; increasing the excitonic lifetime may be a solution for this. Using the real-time, density functional tight-binding theory (DFTB) combined with nonadiabatic molecular dynamics (NAMD) simulations, we demonstrate the exciton relaxation phenomena of different metal-centered porphyrin nanoballs, which are supposed to be very important for the light-harvesting process. It has been revealed that the carrier recombination rate gradually decreases with the increase in the molecular stiffness by introducing metal-coordinating templating agents into the nanoball. Our simulation demonstrates that the lower atomic fluctuations lead to poorer electron–phonon nonadiabatic coupling in association with weak phonon modes and these as a whole are responsible for shorter quantum coherence and hence delayed recombination events. Our analysis is in good agreement with the recent experimental observation. By replacing the Zn metal center with a heavier Cd atom, a similar trend is observed; however, the rate slows down abruptly. The present simulation study provides the fundamental mechanism in detail behind the undesired energy loss during exciton recombination and suggests a rational design of impressive nanosystems for future device fabrication.