Organic narrowband near-infrared photodetectors based on intermolecular charge-transfer absorption

Nat Commun. 2017 Jun 5;8:15421. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15421.

Abstract

Blending organic electron donors and acceptors yields intermolecular charge-transfer states with additional optical transitions below their optical gaps. In organic photovoltaic devices, such states play a crucial role and limit the operating voltage. Due to its extremely weak nature, direct intermolecular charge-transfer absorption often remains undetected and unused for photocurrent generation. Here, we use an optical microcavity to increase the typically negligible external quantum efficiency in the spectral region of charge-transfer absorption by more than 40 times, yielding values over 20%. We demonstrate narrowband detection with spectral widths down to 36 nm and resonance wavelengths between 810 and 1,550 nm, far below the optical gap of both donor and acceptor. The broad spectral tunability via a simple variation of the cavity thickness makes this innovative, flexible and potentially visibly transparent device principle highly suitable for integrated low-cost spectroscopic near-infrared photodetection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't