Pitfalls of quantifying intersystem crossing rates in singlet-fission chromophore solutions

27 May 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Singlet fission (SF), a process that produces two triplet excitons from one singlet exciton, has attracted recent interest for its potential to circumvent the detailed-balance efficiency limit of single-junction solar cells. For the potential of SF to be fully realized, accurate assignment and quantification of SF is necessary. Intersystem crossing (ISC) is another process of singlet to triplet conversion that is important to distinguish from SF to avoid either over- or under-estimation of SF triplet production. Here, we quantify an upper bound on the rate of ISC in two commonly studied SF chromophores, TIPS-pentacene and TIPS-tetracene, by using transient absorption spectroscopy of solutions of varying concentrations in toluene. We show that SF in solutions of these acenes has previously been misidentified as ISC, and vice versa. By determining a bimolecular SF rate constant in concentrated solutions in which SF dominates over ISC, we distinguish triplet formation due to SF from triplet formation due to ISC, and show that the characteristic time scale of ISC must be longer than 325 ns in TIPS-pentacene, while it must be longer than 118 ns in TIPS- tetracene. We additionally note that no excimer formation is observed in the relatively dilute (up to 8 mM) solutions studied here, indicating that previous excimer formation observed at much higher concentrations may be partially due to aggregate formation. This work highlights that an accurate quantification of ISC is crucial as it leads to accurate determination of SF rate constants and yields.


singlet fission
transient absorption spectroscopy
intersystem crossing

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Material: Pitfalls of quantifying intersystem crossing rates in singlet-fission chromophore solutions
Supplementary material for paper


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.