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Layer-by-Layer Assembly Enabled by the Anionic p-Dopant CN6-CP•–K⁺: a Route to Achieve Interfacial Doping of Organic Semiconductors

Karpov, Yevhen, Kiriy, Nataliya, Formanek, Petr, Zessin, Jakob, Hambsch, Mike, Mannsfeld, Stefan C. B., Lissel, Franziska, Beryozkina, Tetyana, Bakulev, Vasiliy, Voit, Brigitte, Kiriy, Anton
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2019 v.11 no.4 pp. 4159-4168
cations, semiconductors, transmission electron microscopy
Highly efficient 2D (interfacial) doping of organic semiconductors, poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and TIPS-pentacene, was achieved by a polyelectrolyte-supported layer-by-layer assembly of the dual-mode functional dopant CN6-CP•–K⁺, having an anionic group for its fixation onto oppositely charged surfaces/molecules as well as electron-deficient groups providing its p-doping ability. Polyelectrolyte-supported dopant layers were used to generate conductive channels at the bottom or at the top of semiconducting films. Unlike to the case of sequentially processed P3HT films doped by F4TCNQ (Moulé, J.Chem. Mater.2015, 27, 5765; Koech, P. K.J. Mater. Chem. C2013, 1, 1876; Schwartz, B. J.J. Phys. Chem. Lett.2015, 6, 4786), the use of more polar CN6-CP•–K⁺ dopant and ultrathin polycation separation interlayer enables predominantly interfacial kind of doping placement with no or minimal intercalation of the dopant into the semiconductor bulk. The layered structure of the doped film was proved by transmission electron microscopy of the cross-section and it agrees well with other data obtained in this work. The interfacial doping enabled an impressive conductivity of 13 S/cm even for ultrathin P3HT films. We propose to explain the superior efficiency of the interfacial doping compared to the bulk doping in terms of unperturbed morphology of the semiconductor and high mobility of charge carriers, which are spatially separated from the dopant phase.