The role of spin exchange in charge transfer in low-bandgap polymer: Fullerene bulk heterojunctions.

The Journal of chemical physics

PubMedID: 25084955

Krinichnyi VI, Yudanova EI, Denisov NN. The role of spin exchange in charge transfer in low-bandgap polymer: Fullerene bulk heterojunctions. J Chem Phys. 2014;141(4):044906.
Formation, relaxation and dynamics of polarons and methanofullerene anion radicals photoinitiated in poly[N-9?-hepta-decanyl-2,7-carbazole-alt-5,5-(4',7'-di-2-thienyl-2',1',3'-benzothiadiazole)]:-[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCDTBT:PC61BM) bulk heterojunctions were studied mainly by light-induced EPR (LEPR) spectroscopy in wide photon energy and temperature ranges. Some polarons are pinned by spin traps whose number and depth are governed by the composite morphology and photon energy. The proximity of the photon energy and the polymer bandgap reduces the number of such traps, inhibits recombination of mobile charge carriers, and facilitates their mobility in polymer network. Spin relaxation and charge carrier dynamics were studied by the steady-state saturation method at wide range of temperature and photon energy. These processes were shown to be governed by spin exchange as well as by the photon energy. Charge transfer in the composite is governed by the polaron scattering on the lattice phonons of crystalline domains embedded into amorphous polymer matrix and its activation hopping between polymer layers. The energy barrier required for polaron interchain hopping exceeds that of its intrachain diffusion. Anisotropy of polaron dynamics in the PCDTBT:PC61BM composite is less than that of poly(3-alkylthiophenes)-based systems that evidences for better ordering of the former. Lorentzian shape of LEPR lines of both charge carriers, lower concentration of spin traps as well as behaviours of the main magnetic resonance parameters were explained by layer ordered morphology of polymer matrix.