Structure-dependent charge transfer at the interafce between organic thin films, and metals and metal oxides

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Sammanfattning: The purpose of the research work, presented in this thesis is to offer a detailed atomic level study of interfaces created by adsorption of organic molecules on metals and metal oxides to point out significant impact of substrate, dye structure as well as different mediators on the charge transfer at these interfaces, which is proven to influence the device performance to a great extent.Adsorption of organic photosensitive molecules on metals and metal-oxides is the main focus of this thesis. Phthalocyanines which are organic semiconductors offer a broad range of properties, such as thermal and chemical stability, high charge mobility and strong absorption coefficient in the visible and near-IR regions, which make them very attractive to be applied in various systems and devices. Fuel cells, organic field-effect transistors (OFETs), organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and solar cells are examples of phthalocyanine’s applications. The main focus of this work is to characterize the interfaces of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs).DSSC was invented by Michael Grätzel and Brian O’Regan in 1988. At the heart of this cell there is an oxide which is coated by a photosensitive dye. Under illumination, an electron is excited from HOMO to LUMO of the molecule, which can be further transferred to the conduction band of the oxide by a proper energy level alignment. The original state of the dye is regenerated by electron donation via the electrolyte, which usually is an organic solvent containing a redox couple e.g., iodide/triiodide. The iodide is regenerated by reduction of triiodide at the counter electrode. To improve the functionality of the cell, different additives can be added to the electrolyte.To mimic the interfaces of this cell, molecular layers of MPc (M: Fe, Zn, Mg) are adsorbed on both metallic surfaces, Au(111) and Pt(111), and rutile TiO2(110). Layers of iodine were inserted between metallic substrates and dyes to investigate the electronic properties and charge transfer at these multi-interface systems. 4-tert-butyl pyridine is a significant additive to the electrolyte and has proven to enhance the cell’s performance. This molecule was also adsorbed on Pt(111) and TiO2(110). Phthalocyanines were deposited by organic molecular beam deposition and 4TBP was evaporated at room temperature. Surface structures and reconstructions were confirmed by LEED measurements. Surface sensitive synchrotron radiation based spectroscopy methods, XPS and NEXAFS were applied to characterize these surfaces and interfaces. STM images directly give a topographical and electronic map over the surface. All measurements were carried out in UHV condition.When MPc was adsorbed on Au(111) and TiO2(110), charge transfer from molecule to substrate is suggested, while the opposite holds for MPc adsorbed on Pt(111). Moreover, stronger interaction between MPc and Pt(111) and TiO2(110) compared to Au(111) also demonstrates the effect of substrate on the charge transfer at the interface. The stronger interaction observed for these two substrates disturbed the smooth growth of a monolayer; it also resulted in bending of the molecular plane. Interaction of MPc with metallic surfaces was modified by inserting iodine at the interface. Another substrate-related effect was observed when MgPc was adsorbed on TiO2(110);  and -cross linked surfaces, where the surface reconstruction directly affect the molecular configuration as well as electronic structure at the interface. Besides, it is shown that the d-orbital filling of the central metal atom in MPc plays an important role for the properties of the molecular layer as well as charge transfer at the interface.Upon adsorption of 4TBP on Pt(111), C-H bond is dissociatively broken and molecules is adsorbed with N atoms down. Modification of surface by iodine, prevent this dissociation. In the low coverage of iodine, there is a competition between 4TBP and iodine to directly bind to Pt(111). Investigation on the adsorption of 4TBP on TiO2(110) illustrated that these molecules in low coverage regime, prefer the oxygen vacancy sites and their adsorption on these sites, results in a downward band bending at the substrate’s surface.