Non-Kasha fluorescence of pyrene emerges from a dynamic equilibrium between excited states

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


Pyrene fluorescence after a high-energy electronic excitation exhibits a prominent band shoulder not present after excitation at low energies. The standard assignment of this shoulder as a non-Kasha emission from the second-excited state (S2) has been recently questioned. To elucidate this issue, we simulated the fluorescence of pyrene using two different theoretical approaches based on the vertical convolution and nonadiabatic dynamics with nuclear ensemble approaches. To conduct the necessary nonadiabatic dynamics simulations with high-lying electronic states and deal with fluorescence timescales of about 100 ns of this large molecule, we developed new computational protocols. The results from both approaches confirm that the band shoulder is, in fact, due to S2 emission. We show that the non-Kasha behavior is a dynamic-equilibrium effect, not caused by a metastable S2 minimum. However, it requires considerable vibrational energy, which can only be achieved in collisionless regimes after transitions into highly excited states. This strict condition explains why the S2 emission was not observed in some experiments.


Nonadiabatic dynamics
Emission spectrum
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon


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