Tuning the effective spin-orbit coupling in molecular semiconductors

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McNellis, ER 
Nielsen, CB 
Chen, H-Y 
Watanabe, S 

The control of spins and spin to charge conversion in organics requires understanding the molecular spin-orbit coupling (SOC), and a means to tune its strength. However, quantifying SOC strengths indirectly through spin relaxation effects has proven difficult due to competing relaxation mechanisms. Here we present a systematic study of the g-tensor shift in molecular semiconductors and link it directly to the SOC strength in a series of high-mobility molecular semiconductors with strong potential for future devices. The results demonstrate a rich variability of the molecular g-shifts with the effective SOC, depending on subtle aspects of molecular composition and structure. We correlate the above g-shifts to spin-lattice relaxation times over four orders of magnitude, from 200 to 0.15 μs, for isolated molecules in solution and relate our findings for isolated molecules in solution to the spin relaxation mechanisms that are likely to be relevant in solid state systems.

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Nature Communications
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Nature Publishing Group
European Research Council (610115)
S.S. thanks the Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), C. Daniel Frisbie for supplying d28-rubrene and Shin-ichi Kuroda for useful discussions. Funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, ERC Synergy Grant SC2 (No. 610115), and the Transregional Collaborative Research Center (SFB/TRR) 173 SPIN+X is acknowledged.