Intrinsic measurements of exciton transport in photovoltaic cells

Tao Zhang, Dana B. Dement, Vivian E. Ferry, Russell J. Holmes

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23 Scopus citations


Organic photovoltaic cells are partiuclarly sensitive to exciton harvesting and are thus, a useful platform for the characterization of exciton diffusion. While device photocurrent spectroscopy can be used to extract the exciton diffusion length, this method is frequently limited by unknown interfacial recombination losses. We resolve this limitation and demonstrate a general, device-based photocurrent-ratio measurement to extract the intrinsic diffusion length. Since interfacial losses are not active layer specific, a ratio of the donor- and acceptor-material internal quantum efficiencies cancels this quantity. We further show that this measurement permits extraction of additional device-relevant information regarding exciton relaxation and charge separation processes. The generality of this method is demonstrated by measuring exciton transport for both luminescent and dark materials, as well as for small molecule and polymer active materials and semiconductor quantum dots. Thus, we demonstrate a broadly applicable device-based methodology to probe the intrinsic active material exciton diffusion length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1156
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) Electronics, Photonics, and Magnetic Devices under ECCS-1509121. T.Z. acknowledges support from a University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. The authors thank Dr. D. Wayne Blaylock at The Dow Chemical Company for synthesizing NPD, Deepesh Rai for measuring the C545T LD via photoluminescence quenching, and Feng Xue for assistance with atomic layer deposition.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).


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