Conjugated Block Copolymers as Model Systems to Examine Mechanisms of Charge Generation in Donor–Acceptor Materials

Melissa P. Aplan, Christopher Grieco, Youngmin Lee, Jason M. Munro, Wonho Lee, Jennifer L. Gray, Zach D. Seibers, Brooke Kuei, Joshua H. Litofsky, S. Michael Kilbey, Qing Wang, Ismaila Dabo, John B. Asbury, Enrique D. Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Fully conjugated donor–acceptor block copolymers are established as model systems to elucidate fundamental mechanisms of photocurrent generation in organic photovoltaics. Using analysis of steady-state photoluminescence quenching, exciton dissociation to a charge transfer state within individual block copolymer chains is quantified. By making a small adjustment to the conjugated backbone, the electronic properties are altered enough to disrupt charge transfer almost entirely. Strong intermolecular coupling of the electron donor is introduced by synthesizing block copolymer nanoparticles. Transient absorption spectroscopy is used to monitor charge generation in block copolymer isolated chains and nanoparticles. While efficient charge transfer is observed in isolated chains, there is no indication of complete charge separation. In the nanoparticles, long-lived polarons are observed as early as ≈15 ns. Thus, aggregation of electron donors can facilitate efficient charge generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1804858
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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