Impact of Grain Boundaries on Triplet Exciton Diffusion in Organic Singlet-Fission Materials

Kaicheng Shi, Andrew T. Healy, Ian J. Curtin, Tao Zhang, David A. Blank, Russell J. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Singlet exciton fission is an efficient multiexciton generation process that enables photogenerated singlets to be split into a pair of mobile and long-lived triplets. As interest grows in applications for these materials in photovoltaics, it is essential to develop a clear set of process design rules to maximize the efficiency of triplet diffusion. Here, we probe the dependence of the triplet exciton diffusion length in polycrystalline thin films of the archetypical singlet-fission material pentacene on in-plane grain size. The out-of-plane triplet diffusion length increases from 16.3 ± 0.5 to 22.1 ± 1.3 nm for an increase in grain size from 95 ± 8 to 229 ± 10 nm. This increase is analyzed in terms of reduced grain boundary quenching, supported by a concomitant increase in the triplet lifetime extracted from transient absorption spectroscopy. Interestingly, the quenching rate for triplets in pentacene is found to be significantly smaller than previously reported values extracted for singlet excitons in fluorescent materials. These results suggest that while grain boundaries impede triplet exciton diffusion in polycrystalline thin films, low-energy triplets are potentially less susceptible to quenching than singlets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4792-4798
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 17 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Program in Solid-State and Materials Chemistry DMR-1708177 and the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. R.J.H. acknowledges support from Ronald L. and Janet A. Christenson, a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship at the University of Cambridge and a Visiting Fellowship at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. K.S. acknowledges support from a University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.


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