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  1. Four organic sensitizers incorporating a cross-conjugated cyclopenta[2,1- b :3,4- b ′]dithiophene (CPDT) π-bridge have been synthesized. As a result of molecular engineering, broad high energy bands and red shifted absorption maxima and onset is observed relative to a benchmark analogue ( C218 ) using a non-cross-conjugated CPDT π-bridge. The use of a cross-conjugated bridge allows a new strategy for tuning dye energetics and introduction of increased absorption uniformity by adding additional high-energy absorption bands. These dyes show solar-to-electric conversion up to 800 nm with one derivative exceeding the performance of C218 under identical conditions.
  2. Abstract

    While only few organic photodiodes have photoresponse past 1 µm, novel shortwave infrared (SWIR) polymers are emerging, and a better understanding of the limiting factors in narrow bandgap devices is critically needed to predict and advance performance. Based on state‐of‐the‐art SWIR bulk heterojunction photodiodes, this work demonstrates a model that accounts for the increasing electric‐field dependence of photocurrent in narrow bandgap materials. This physical model offers an expedient method to pinpoint the origins of efficiency losses, by decoupling the exciton dissociation efficiency and charge collection efficiency in photocurrent–voltage measurements. These results from transient photoconductivity measurements indicate that the main loss is due to poor exciton dissociation, particularly significant in photodiodes with low‐energy charge‐transfer states. Direct measurements of the noise components are analyzed to caution against using assumptions that could lead to an overestimation of detectivity. The devices show a peak detectivity of 5 × 1010Jones with a spectral range up to 1.55 µm. The photodiodes are demonstrated to quantify the ethanol–water content in a mixture within 1% accuracy, conveying the potential of organics to enable economical, scalable detectors for SWIR spectroscopy.

  3. Abstract

    Infrared organic photodetector materials are investigated using transient absorption spectroscopy, demonstrating that ultrafast charge generation assisted by polymer aggregation is essential to compensate for the energy gap law, which dictates that excited state lifetimes decrease as the band gap narrows. Short sub‐picosecond singlet exciton lifetimes are measured in a structurally related series of infrared‐absorbing copolymers that consist of alternating cyclopentadithiophene electron‐rich “push” units and strong electron‐deficient “pull” units, including benzothiadiazole, benzoselenadiazole, pyridalselenadiazole, or thiadiazoloquinoxaline. While the ultrafast lifetimes of excitons localized on individual polymer chains suggest that charge carrier generation will be inefficient, high detectivity for polymer:PC71BM infrared photodetectors is measured in the 0.6 < λ < 1.5 µm range. The photophysical processes leading to charge generation are investigated by performing a global analysis on transient absorption data of blended polymer:PC71BM films. In these blends, charge carriers form primarily at polymer aggregate sites on the ultrafast time scale (within our instrument response), leaving quickly decaying single‐chain excitons unquenched. The results have important implications for the further development of organic infrared optoelectronic devices, where targeting processes such as excited state delocalization over aggregates may be necessary to mitigate losses to ultrafast exciton decay as materials with even lower band gapsmore »are developed.

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