Timpel, M.; Li, H.; Nardi, M.; Wegner, B.; Frisch, J.; Hotchkiss, P.; Marder, S.; Barlow, S.; Brédas, J.-L.; Koch, N.: Electrode Work Function Engineering with Phosphonic Acid Monolayers and Molecular Acceptors: Charge Redistribution Mechanisms. Advanced Functional Materials 28 (2018), p. 1704438/1-12
Open Accesn Version

The uses of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of dipolar molecules or of adsorbed molecular acceptors on electrode materials are common strategies to increase their work function, thereby facilitating hole injection into an organic semiconductor deposited on top. Here it is shown that a combination of both approaches can surpass the performance of the individual ones. By combined experimental and theoretical methods it is revealed that in a three-component system, consisting of an indium-tin-oxide (ITO) electrode, a carbazole-based phosphonic acid SAM, and a molecular acceptor layer on top of the SAM, charge transfer occurs from the ITO through the SAM to the acceptor layer, resulting in an electrostatic field drop over the charge-neutral SAM. This result is in contrast to common expectations of either p-doping the carbazole of the SAM or charge transfer complex formation between the carbazole and the acceptor molecules. A high work function of 5.7 eV is achieved with this combined system; even higher values may be accessible by exploiting the fundamental charge redistribution mechanisms identified here with other material combinations.