Oehzelt, M.; Koch, N.; Heimel, G.: Organic semiconductor density of states controls the energy level alignment at electrode interfaces. Nature Communications 5 (2014), p. 4174/1-8
Open Accesn Version
Minimizing charge carrier injection barriers and extraction losses at interfaces between organic semiconductors and metallic electrodes is critical for optimizing the performance of organic (opto-) electronic devices. Here, we implement a detailed electrostatic model, capable of reproducing the alignment between the electrode Fermi energy and the transport states in the organic semiconductor both qualitatively and quantitatively. Covering the full phenomenological range of interfacial energy level alignment regimes within a single, consistent framework and continuously connecting the limiting cases described by previously proposed models allows us to resolve conflicting views in the literature. Our results highlight the density of states in the organic semiconductor as a key factor. Its shape and, in particular, the energy distribution of electronic states tailing into the fundamental gap is found to determine both the minimum value of practically achievable injection barriers as well as their spatial profile, ranging from abrupt interface dipoles to extended band-bending regions.