Conductivity in organic semiconductors hybridized with the vacuum field

Nat Mater. 2015 Nov;14(11):1123-9. doi: 10.1038/nmat4392. Epub 2015 Sep 14.


Much effort over the past decades has been focused on improving carrier mobility in organic thin-film transistors by optimizing the organization of the material or the device architecture. Here we take a different path to solving this problem, by injecting carriers into states that are hybridized to the vacuum electromagnetic field. To test this idea, organic semiconductors were strongly coupled to plasmonic modes to form coherent states that can extend over as many as 10(5) molecules and should thereby favour conductivity. Experiments show that indeed the current does increase by an order of magnitude at resonance in the coupled state, reflecting mostly a change in field-effect mobility. A theoretical quantum model confirms the delocalization of the wavefunctions of the hybridized states and its effect on the conductivity. Our findings illustrate the potential of engineering the vacuum electromagnetic environment to modify and to improve properties of materials.