X-ray induced ultrafast charge transfer in thiophene-based conjugated polymers controlled by core-hole clock spectroscopy
We explore ultrafast charge transfer (CT) resonantly induced by hard x-ray radiation in organic thiophene-based polymers at the sulfur K-edge. A combination of core-hole clock spectroscopy with real-time propagation time-dependent density functional theory simulations gives an insight into the electron dynamics underlying the CT process. Our method provides control over CT by a selective excitation of a specific resonance in the sulfur atom with monochromatic x-ray radiation. Our combined experimental and theoretical investigation establishes that the dominant mechanism of CT in polymer powders and films consists of electron delocalization along the polymer chain occurring on the low-femtosecond time scale.