• Open Access

Doping of organic semiconductors


  • This article will be included, in edited form, as a chapter of the forthcoming book “Physics of Organic Semiconductors”, edited by W. Brütting and C. Adachi (Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2012), ISBN 978-3-527-41053-8.


The understanding and applications of organic semiconductors have shown remarkable progress in recent years. This material class has been developed from being a lab curiosity to the basis of first successful products as small organic LED (OLED) displays; other areas of application such as OLED lighting and organic photovoltaics are on the verge of broad commercialization. Organic semiconductors are superior to inorganic ones for low-cost and large-area optoelectronics due to their flexibility, easy deposition, and broad variety, making tailor-made materials possible. However, electrical doping of organic semiconductors, i.e. the controlled adjustment of Fermi level that has been extremely important to the success of inorganic semiconductors, is still in its infancy. This review will discuss recent work on both fundamental principles and applications of doping, focused primarily to doping of evaporated organic layers with molecular dopants. Recently, both p- and n-type molecular dopants have been developed that lead to efficient and stable doping of organic thin films. Due to doping, the conductivity of the doped layers increases several orders of magnitude and allows for quasi-Ohmic contacts between organic layers and metal electrodes. Besides reducing voltage losses, doping thus also gives design freedom in terms of transport layer thickness and electrode choice. The use of doping in applications like OLEDs and organic solar cells is highlighted in this review. Overall, controlled molecular doping can be considered as key enabling technology for many different organic device types that can lead to significant improvements in efficiencies and lifetimes.