Behrends, J.; Sperlich, A.; Schnegg, A.; Biskup, T.; Teutloff, C.; Lips, K.; Dyakonov, V.; Bittl, R.: Direct detection of photoinduced charge transfer complexes in polymer fullerene blends. Physical Review B 85 (2012), p. 125206/1-6
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We report transient electron paramagnetic resonance (trEPR) measurements with submicrosecond time resolution performed on a polymer:fullerene blend consisting of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and [6,6]-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) at low temperatures. The trEPR spectrum immediately following photoexcitation reveals signatures of spin-correlated polaron pairs. The pair partners (positive polarons in P3HT and negative polarons in PCBM) can be identified by their characteristic g values. The fact that the polaron pair states exhibit strong non-Boltzmann population unambiguously shows that the constituents of each pair are geminate, i.e., originate from one exciton. We demonstrate that coupled polaron pairs are present even several microseconds after charge transfer and suggest that they embody the intermediate charge transfer complexes that form at the donor/acceptor interface and mediate the conversion from excitons into free charge carriers.