It is shown that Förster's expression for the electronic energy transfer rate can be recast in a form predicted for exciton motion that interacts strongly with molecular vibrations. Using a simple model based on the Kennard-Stepanov theory, Förster's expression for the spectral overlap is shown to be of a thermally activated form, as obtained previously by multiphonon theory. In contrast, the high-frequency internal vibrations contribute a factor which results from tunneling through a potential barrier between potential curves in the configuration coordinate diagram. We thus show that resonance energy transfer is equivalent to phonon-assisted hopping of a trapped excitonic polaron
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