Revelation of interfacial energetics in organic multiheterojunctions
Efficient charge generation via exciton dissociation in organic bulk heterojunctions necessitates donor–acceptor interfaces, e.g., between a conjugated polymer and a fullerene derivative. Furthermore, aggregation and corresponding structural order of polymer and fullerene domains result in energetic relaxations of molecular energy levels toward smaller energy gaps as compared to the situation for amorphous phases existing in homogeneously intermixed polymer:fullerene blends. Here it is shown that these molecular energy level shifts are reflected in interfacial charge transfer (CT) transitions and depending on the existence of disordered or ordered interfacial domains. It can be done so by systematically controlling the order at the donor–acceptor interface via ternary blending of semicrystalline and amorphous model polymers with a fullerene acceptor. These variations in interfacial domain order are probed with luminescence spectroscopy, yielding various transition energies due to activation of different recombination channels at the interface. Finally, it is shown that via this analysis the energy landscape at the organic heterojunction interface can be obtained.