Get access

The Dependence of Device Dark Current on the Active-Layer Morphology of Solution-Processed Organic Photodetectors

Authors

  • Panagiotis E. Keivanidis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Experimental Solid State Physics Group, The Blackett Laboratory, Department of Physics, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BZ (UK)
    2. Optoelectronics Group, Cavendish Laboratory, J. J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE (UK)
    • Experimental Solid State Physics Group, The Blackett Laboratory, Department of Physics, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BZ (UK).
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Peter K. H. Ho,

    1. Department of Physics, National University of Singapore, Lower Kent Ridge Road (Singapore) S117542
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Richard H. Friend,

    1. Optoelectronics Group, Cavendish Laboratory, J. J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE (UK)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Neil C. Greenham

    1. Optoelectronics Group, Cavendish Laboratory, J. J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE (UK)
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Organic photodiodes are presented that utilize solution-processed perylene diimide bulk heterojunctions as the device photoactive layer. The polymer (9,9′-dioctylfluorene-co-benzothiadiazole; F8BT) is used as the electron donor and the N,N′-bis(1-ethylpropyl)-3,4,9,10-perylene tetracarboxylic diimide (PDI) derivative is used as the electron acceptor. The thickness-dependent study of the main device parameters, namely of the external quantum efficiency (EQE), the short-circuit current (ISC), the open-circuit voltage (VOC), the fill factor (FF), and the dark current (ID) is presented. In as-spun F8BT:PDI devices the short-circuit EQE reaches the maximum of 17% and the VOC value is as high as 0.8 V. Device ID is in the nA mm−2 regime and it correlates with the topography of the F8BT:PDI layer. For a range of annealing temperatures ID is monitored as the morphology of the photoactive layer changes. The changes in the morphology of the photoactive layer are monitored via atomic force microscopy. The thermally induced coalescence of the PDI domains assists the dark conductivity of the device. ID values as low as 80 pA mm−2 are achieved with a corresponding EQE of 9%, when an electron-blocking layer (EB) is used in bilayer EB/F8BT:PDI devices. Electron injection from the hole-collecting electrode to the F8BT:PDI medium is hindered by the use of the EB layer. The temperature dependence of the ID value of the as-spun F8BT:PDI device is studied in the range of 296–216 K. In combination with the thickness and the composition dependence of ID, the determined activation energy Ea suggests a two-step mechanism of ID generation; a temperature-independent step of electric-field-assisted carrier injection from the device contacts to the active-layer medium and a thermally activated step of carrier transport across the device electrodes, via the PDI domains of the photoactive layer. Moreover, device ID is found to be sensitive to environmental factors.

Ancillary