The reversible assembly of helical supramolecular polymers of chiral molecular building blocks is known to be governed by the interplay between mass action and the competition between weakly and strongly bound states of these building blocks. The highly co-operative transition from free monomers at high temperatures to long helical aggregates at low temperatures can be monitored by photoluminescence spectroscopy that probes the energetically lowest-lying optical excitations in the assemblies. In order to provide the interpretation of obtained spectroscopic data with a firm theoretical basis, we present a comprehensive model that combines a statistical theory of the equilibrium polymerization with a quantum-mechanical theory that not only accounts for the conformational properties of the assemblies but also describes the impact of correlated energetic disorder stemming from deformations within the chromophores and their interaction with solvent molecules. The theoretical predictions are compared to fluorescence spectra of chiral oligo(p-phenylene−vinylene) molecules in the solvent dodecane and we find them to qualitatively describe the red-shift of the main fluorescence peak and its decreasing intensity upon aggregation.
van Dijk, L., Kersten, S. P., Jonkheijm, P., van der Schoot, P., & Bobbert, P. A. (2008). Photoluminescence Spectra of Self-Assembling Helical Supramolecular Assemblies: A Theoretical Study. Journal of physical chemistry B, 112(39), 12386-12393. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp802693s