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  1. Intermolecular interactions on inorganic substrates can have a critical impact on the electrochemical and photophysical properties of the materials and subsequent performance in hybrid electronics. Critical to the intentional formation or inhibition of these processes is controlling interactions between molecules on a surface. In this report, we investigated the impact of surface loading and atomic-layer-deposited Al2O3 overlayers on the intermolecular interactions of a ZrO2-bound anthracene derivative as probed by the photophysical properties of the interface. While surface loading density had no impact on the absorption spectra of the films, there was an increase in excimer features with surface loading as observed by both emission and transient absorption. The addition of ALD overlayers of Al2O3 resulted in a decrease in excimer formation, but the emission and transient absorption spectra were still dominated by excimer features. These results suggest that ALD may provide a post-surface loading means of influencing such intermolecular interactions. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. Integrating molecular photon upconversion via triplet–triplet annihilation (TTA-UC) directly into a solar cell offers a means of harnessing sub-bandgap, near infrared (NIR) photons and surpassing the Shockley–Queisser limit. However, all integrated TTA-UC solar cells to date only harness visible light. Here, we incorporate an osmium polypyridal complex (Os) as the triplet sensitizer in a metal ion linked multilayer photoanode that is capable of harnessing NIR light via S 0 to T 1 * excitation, triple energy transfer to a phosphonated bis(9,10-diphenylethynyl)anthracene annihilator (A), TTA-UC, and electron injection into TiO 2 from the upcoverted state. The TiO 2 -A-Zn-Os devices have five-fold higher photocurrent (∼3.5 μA cm −2 ) than the sum of their parts. IPCE data and excitation intensity dependent measurements indicate that the NIR photons are harvested through a TTA-UC mechanism. Transient absorption spectroscopy is used to show that the low photocurrent, as compared to visible light harnessing TTA-UC solar cells, can be atributed to: (1) slow sensitizer to annihilator triplet energy transfer, (2) a low injection yield for the annihilator, and (3) fast back energy transfer from the upconverted state to the sensitizer. Regardless, these results serve as a proof-of-concept that NIR photons can be harnessed via an S 0 to T 1 * sensitizer excited, integrated TTA-UC solar cell and that further improvements can readily be made by remedying the performance limiting processes noted above. 
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