Delocalization and dielectric screening of charge transfer states in organic photovoltaic cells

B. Bernardo, D. Cheyns, B. Verreet, R. D. Schaller, Barry P. Rand, N. C. Giebink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

220 Scopus citations


Charge transfer (CT) states at a donor-acceptor heterojunction have a key role in the charge photogeneration process of organic solar cells, however, the mechanism by which these states dissociate efficiently into free carriers remains unclear. Here we explore the nature of these states in small molecule-fullerene bulk heterojunction photovoltaics with varying fullerene fraction and find that the CT energy scales with dielectric constant at high fullerene loading but that there is a threshold C 60 crystallite size of ∼4 nm below which the spatial extent of these states is reduced. Electroabsorption measurements indicate an increase in CT polarizability when C 60 crystallite size exceeds this threshold, and that this change is correlated with increased charge separation yield supported by CT photoluminescence transients. These results support a model of charge separation via delocalized CT states independent of excess heterojunction offset driving energy and indicate that local fullerene crystallinity is critical to the charge separation process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3245
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Feb 3 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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