Ring currents modulate optoelectronic properties of aromatic chromophores at 25 T

Bryan Kudisch, Margherita Maiuri, Luca Moretti, Maria B. Oviedo, Leon Wang, Daniel G. Oblinsky, Robert K. Prud'Homme, Bryan M. Wong, Stephen A. McGill, Gregory D. Scholes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The properties of organic molecules can be influenced by magnetic fields, and these magnetic field effects are diverse. They range from inducing nuclear Zeeman splitting for structural determination in NMR spectroscopy to polaron Zeeman splitting organic spintronics and organic magnetoresistance. A pervasive magnetic field effect on an aromatic molecule is the aromatic ring current, which can be thought of as an induction of a circular current of π-electrons upon the application of a magnetic field perpendicular to the π-system of the molecule. While in NMR spectroscopy the effects of ring currents on the chemical shifts of nearby protons are relatively well understood, and even predictable, the consequences of these modified electronic states on the spectroscopy of molecules has remained unknown. In this work, we find that photophysical properties of model phthalocyanine compounds and their aggregates display clear magnetic field dependences up to 25 T, with the aggregates showing more drastic magnetic field sensitivities depending on the intermolecular interactions with the amplification of ring currents in stacked aggregates. These observations are consistent with ring currents measured in NMR spectroscopy and simulated in time-dependent density functional theory calculations of magnetic field-dependent phthalocyanine monomer and dimer absorption spectra. We propose that ring currents in organic semiconductors, which commonly comprise aromatic moieties, may present new opportunities for the understanding and exploitation of combined optical, electronic, and magnetic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11289
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 26 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Aromatic ring currents
  • Magnetic fields
  • Ultrafast spectroscopy


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