Interaction of charge carriers with lattice vibrations in organic molecular semiconductors: Naphthalene as a case study

Veaceslav Coropceanu*, Roel S. Sánchez-Carrera, Pavel Paramonov, Graeme M. Day, Jean Luc Brédas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Recent theoretical studies suggest that the modulation of the electronic couplings (transfer integrals) between adjacent molecules by lattice vibrations, i.e., the so-called nonlocal electron-phonon coupling, plays a key role in the charge-transport properties of molecular organic semiconductors. However, a detailed understanding of this mechanism is still missing. Here, we combine density functional theory calculations and molecular mechanics simulations and use a chemistry-based insight to derive the nonlocal electron-phonon coupling constants due to the interaction of charge carriers with the optical lattice vibrations in the naphthalene crystal. The results point to a very strong coupling to both translational and librational intermolecular vibrational modes as well as to intramolecular modes. Along some crystal directions, the nonlocal interactions are found to be dominated by nontotally symmetric vibrational modes which lead to an alternation (Peierls-type dimerization) pattern. Importantly, we introduce two parameters that can be used: (i) to quantify the total strength of the nonlocal electron-vibration mechanism in the form of a reorganization energy term; and (ii) to define the extent of the thermal fluctuations of the electronic couplings. Interestingly, zero-point fluctuations are seen to be very significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4679-4686
Number of pages8
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 19 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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