Main content area

Elucidating the Energy- and Electron-Transfer Dynamics of Photon Upconversion in Self-Assembled Bilayers

Dilbeck, Tristan, Wang, Jamie C., Zhou, Yan, Olsson, Andrew, Sykora, Milan, Hanson, Kenneth
The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2017 v.121 no.36 pp. 19690-19698
absorption, electron transfer, energy transfer, photons, photovoltaic cells, spectroscopy, titanium dioxide
Self-assembled bilayers of acceptor (A) and sensitizer (S) molecules on a metal oxide surface is a promising strategy to facilitate photon upconversion via triplet–triplet annihilation (TTA-UC) and extract charge from the upconverted state. The hypothesized mechanism for TTA-UC in a bilayer film includes low energy light absorption, triplet energy transfer, cross-surface energy migration, triplet–triplet annihilation, and electron injection into TiO₂. Nonproductive processes can also occur including sensitizer-sensitizer TTA, radiative/nonradiative decay, back-electron transfer, and others. Steady-state and time-resolved emission/absorption spectroscopy were used to determine the rate constants of these processes. The rate constants indicate that S to A triplet energy transfer as well as S and A nonradiative rates are the primary efficiency-limiting processes for TTA-UC at the interface. This information is necessary to guide the design of new self-assembled UC films and is a critical stepping stone toward the long-term goal of generating a practical UC solar cell.