Impact of Nanoscale Morphology on Charge Carrier Delocalization and Mobility in an Organic Semiconductor

M Ellis and H Yang and S Giannini and OG Ziogos and J Blumberger, ADVANCED MATERIALS, 33, 2104852 (2021).

DOI: 10.1002/adma.202104852

A central challenge of organic semiconductor research is to make cheap, disordered materials that exhibit high electrical conductivity. Unfortunately, this endeavor is hampered by the poor fundamental understanding of the relationship between molecular packing structure and charge carrier mobility. Here a novel computational methodology is presented that fills this gap. Using a melt-quench procedure it is shown that amorphous pentacene spontaneously self-assembles to nanocrystalline structures that, at long quench times, form the characteristic herringbone layer of the single crystal. Quantum dynamical simulations of electron hole transport show a clear correlation between the crystallinity of the sample, the quantum delocalization, and the mobility of the charge carrier. Surprisingly, the long-held belief that charge carriers form relatively localized polarons in disordered OS is only valid for fully amorphous structures-for nanocrystalline and crystalline samples, significant charge carrier delocalization over several nanometers occurs that underpins their improved conductivities. The good agreement with experimentally available data makes the presented methodology a robust computational tool for the predictive engineering of disordered organic materials.

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