Spin–spin interactions and spin delocalisation in a doped organic semiconductor probed by EPR spectroscopy†
The enhancement and control of the electrical conductivity of organic semiconductors is fundamental for their use in optoelectronic applications and can be achieved by molecular doping, which introduces additional charge carriers through electron transfer between a dopant molecule and the organic semiconductor. Here, we use Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to characterise the unpaired spins associated with the charges generated by molecular doping of the prototypical organic semiconductor poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) with 2,3,5,6-tetrafluoro-7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane (F4TCNQ) and tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane (BCF). The EPR results reveal the P3HT radical cation as the only paramagnetic species in BCF-doped P3HT films and show evidence for increased mobility of the detected spins at high doping concentrations as well as formation of antiferromagnetically coupled spin pairs leading to decreased spin concentrations at low temperatures. The EPR signature for F4TCNQ-doped P3HT is found to be determined by spin exchange between P3HT radical cations and F4TCNQ radical anions. Results from continuous-wave and pulse EPR measurements suggest the presence of the unpaired spin on P3HT in a multitude of environments, ranging from free P3HT radical cations with similar properties to those observed in BCF-doped P3HT, to pairs of dipolar and exchange-coupled spins on P3HT and the dopant anion. Characterisation of the proton hyperfine interactions by ENDOR allowed quantification of the extent of spin delocalisation and revealed reduced delocalisation in the F4TCNQ-doped P3HT films.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2021 PCCP HOT Articles