(2018). A Mechanistic Study of Phase Transformation in Perovskite Nanocrystals Driven by Ligand Passivation. Chemistry of Materials. 30:(1)84-93. Abstract
Active control over the shape, composition, and crystalline habit of nanocrystals has long been a goal. Various methods have been shown to enable postsynthesis modification of nanoparticles, including the use of the Kirkendall effect, galvanic replacement, and cation or anion exchange, all taking advantage of enhanced solid-state diffusion on the nanoscale. In all these processes, however, alteration of the nanoparticles requires introduction of new precursor materials. Here we show that for cesium lead halide perovskite nanoparticles, a reversible structural and compositional change can be induced at room temperature solely by modification of the ligand shell composition in solution. The reversible transformation of cubic CsPbX3 nanocrystals to rhombohedral Cs4PbX6 nanocrystals is achieved by controlling the ratio of oleylamine to oleic acid capping molecules. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy investigation of Cs4PbX6 reveals the growth habit of the rhombohedral crystal structure is composed of a zero-dimensional layered network of isolated PbX6 octahedra separated by Cs cation planes. The reversible transformation between the two phases involves an exfoliation and recrystalliztion process. This scheme enables fabrication of high-purity monodispersed Cs4PbX6 nanoparticles with controlled sizes. Also, depending on the final size of the Cs4PbX6 nanoparticles as tuned by the reaction time, the back reaction yields CsPbX3 nanoplatelets with a controlled thickness. In addition, detailed surface analysis provides insight into the impact of the ligand composition on surface stabilization that, consecutively, acts as the driving force in phase and shape transformations in cesium lead halide perovskites.
(2017). Local Polar Fluctuations in Lead Halide Perovskite Crystals. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS. 118:(13) Abstract
Hybrid lead-halide perovskites have emerged as an excellent class of photovoltaic materials. Recent reports suggest that the organic molecular cation is responsible for local polar fluctuations that inhibit carrier recombination. We combine low-frequency Raman scattering with first-principles molecular dynamics (MD) to study the fundamental nature of these local polar fluctuations. Our observations of a strong central peak in the cubic phase of both hybrid (CH3NH3PbBr3) and all-inorganic (CsPbBr3) leadhalide perovskites show that anharmonic, local polar fluctuations are intrinsic to the general lead-halide perovskite structure, and not unique to the dipolar organic cation. MD simulations indicate that head-tohead Cs motion coupled to Br face expansion, occurring on a few hundred femtosecond time scale, drives the local polar fluctuations in CsPbBr3.
(2014). Quantifying singlet fission in novel organic materials using nonlinear optics. LIGHT MANIPULATING ORGANIC MATERIALS AND DEVICES. 9181. Abstract
Singlet fission is a form of multiple exciton generation in which two triplet excitons are produced from the decay of a photoexcited singlet exciton. In a small number of organic materials, most notably pentacene, this conversion process has been shown to occur with unity quantum yield on sub-ps timescales. However, a poorly understood mechanism for fission along with strict energy and geometry requirements have so far limited the observation of this process to a few classes of organic materials, with only a subset of these (most notably the polyacenes) showing both efficient fission and long-lived triplets. Here, we utilize novel organic materials to investigate how the efficiency of the fission process depends on the coupling and the energetic driving force between chromophores in both intra-and intermolecular singlet fission materials. We demonstrate how the triplet yield can be accurately quantified using a combination of traditional transient spectroscopies and recently developed excited state saturable absorption techniques. These results allow us to gain mechanistic insight into the fission process and suggest general strategies for generating new materials that can undergo efficient fission.
(2013). Effect of Molecule-Surface Reaction Mechanism on the Electronic Characteristics and Photovoltaic Performance of Molecularly Modified Si. Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 117:(43)22351-22361. Abstract
We report on the passivation properties of molecularly modified, oxide-free Si(111) surfaces. The reaction of 1-alcohol with the H-passivated Si(111) surface can follow two possible paths, nucleophilic substitution (S-N) and radical chain reaction (RCR), depending on adsorption conditions. Moderate heating leads to the SN reaction, whereas with UV irradiation RCR dominates, with SN as a secondary path. We show that the site-sensitive SN reaction leads to better electrical passivation, as indicated by smaller surface band bending and a longer lifetime of minority carriers. However, the surface-insensitive RCR reaction leads to more dense monolayers and, therefore, to much better chemical stability, with lasting protection of the Si surface against oxidation. Thus, our study reveals an inherent dissonance between electrical and chemical passivation. Alkoxy monolayers, formed under UV irradiation, benefit, though, from both chemical and electronic passivation because under these conditions both SN and RCR occur. This is reflected in longer minority carrier lifetimes, lower reverse currents in the dark, and improved photovoltaic performance, over what is obtained if only one of the mechanisms operates. These results show how chemical kinetics and reaction paths impact electronic properties at the device level. It further suggests an approach for effective passivation of other semiconductors.
(2013). Effect of Doping Density on the Charge Rearrangement and Interface Dipole at the Molecule-Silicon Interface. Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 117:(43)22422-22427. Abstract
The interface level alignment of alkyl and alkenyl monolayers, covalently bound to oxide-free Si substrates of various doping levels, is studied using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Using shifts in the C 1s and Si 2p photoelectron peaks as a sensitive probe, we find that charge distribution around the covalent Si-C bond dipole changes according to the initial position of the Fermi level within the Si substrate. This shows that the interface dipole is not fixed but rather changes with the doping level. These results set limits to the applicability of simple models to describe level alignment at interfaces and show that the interface bond and dipole may change according to the electrostatic potential at the interface.
(2013). Molecular field effect passivation: Quinhydrone/methanol treatment of n-Si(100). Journal of Applied Physics. 113:(8) Abstract
The quinhydrone/methanol treatment has been reported to yield outstanding passivation of the H-terminated Si(100) surface. Here, we report on the mechanism of this process by comparing the resulting surface to that of freshly etched H-terminated Si, of Si with chemically grown oxide, and of Si treated with hydroquinone/methanol solution of the same concentration. We find that the benzoquinone moieties of the quinhydrone react with the surface to yield a Si-hydroquinone surface termination, while the methanol molecules bind as well to form methoxy-terminated Si. The slightly negative-charged benzene ring of the hydroquinone acts to repel majority carrier electrons from the surface and inhabits the surface recombination. The higher the ratio of surface-bound hydroquinone to surface-bound methoxy species, the larger the minority carrier life-time measured by microwave photoconductivity. Thus, our results lead us to conclude that this treatment results in field effect passivation; remarkably, this effect is caused by a molecular monolayer alone. (C) 2013 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4793497]
(2013). Mono-Fluorinated Alkyne-Derived SAMs on Oxide-Free Si(111) Surfaces: Preparation, Characterization and Tuning of the Si Workfunction. Langmuir. 29:(2)570-580. Abstract
Organic monolayers derived from omega-fluoro-1-alkynes of varying carbon chain lengths (C-10-C-18) were prepared on Si(111) surfaces, resulting in changes of the physical and electronic properties of the surface. Analysis of the monolayers using XPS, Infrared Reflection Absorption Spectroscopy, ellipsometry and static water contact angle measurements provided information regarding the monolayer thickness, the tilt angle, and the surface coverage. Additionally, PCFF molecular mechanics studies were used to obtain information on the optimal packing density and the layer thickness, which were compared to the experimentally found data. From the results, it can be concluded that the monolayers derived from longer chain lengths are more ordered, possess a lower tilt angle, and have a higher surface coverage than monolayers derived from shorter chains. We also demonstrate that by substitution of an H by F atom in the terminal group, it is possible to controllably modify the surface potential and energy barrier for charge transport in a full metal/monolayer-semiconductor (MOMS) junction.
(2012). Hybrids of Organic Molecules and Flat, Oxide-Free Silicon: High-Density Monolayers, Electronic Properties, and Functionalization. Langmuir. 28:(26)9920-9929. Abstract
Since the first report of Si-C bound organic monolayers on oxide-free Si almost two decades ago, a substantial amount of research has focused on studying the fundamental mechanical and electronic properties of these Si/molecule surfaces and interfaces. This feature article covers three closely related topics, including recent advances in achieving high-density organic monolayers (i.e., atomic coverage >55%) on oxide-free Si(111) substrates, an overview of progress in the fundamental understanding of the energetics and electronic properties of hybrid Si/molecule systems, and a brief summary of recent examples of subsequent functionalization on these high-density monolayers, which can significantly expand the range of applicability. Taken together, these topics provide an overview of the present status of this active area of research.
(2012). Ambient organic molecular passivation of Si yields near-ideal, Schottky-Mott limited, junctions. AIP Advances. 2:(1) Abstract
We report near-perfect transfer of the electrical properties of oxide-free Si surface, modified by a molecular monolayer, to the interface of a junction made with that modified Si surface. Such behavior is highly unusual for a covalent, narrow bandgap semiconductor, such as Si. Short, ambient atmosphere, room temperature treatment of oxide-free Si(100) in hydroquinone (HQ)/alkyl alcohol solutions, fully passivates the Si surface, while allowing controlled change of the resulting surface potential. The junctions formed, upon contacting such surfaces with Hg, a metal that does not chemically interact with Si, follow the Schottky-Mott model formetal-semiconductor junctions closer than ever for Si-based junctions. Two examples of such ideal behavior are demonstrated: a) Tuning the molecular surface dipole over 400 mV, with only negligible band bending, by changing the alkyl chain length. Because of the excellent passivation this yields junctions with Hg with barrier heights that follow the change in the Si effective electron affinity nearly ideally. b) HQ/methanol passivation of Si is accompanied by a large surface dipole, which suffices, as interface dipole, to drive the Si into strong inversion as shown experimentally via its photovoltaic effect. With only similar to 0.3 nm molecular interlayer between the metal and the Si, our results proves that it is passivation and prevention of metal-semiconductor interactions that allow ideal metal-semiconductor junction behavior, rather than an insulating transport barrier. Copyright 2012 Author(s). This article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3694140]
(2012). Charge transport across metal/molecular (alkyl) monolayer-Si junctions is dominated by the LUMO level. Physical Review B. 85:(4) Abstract
We compare the charge transport characteristics of heavy-doped p(++)- and n(++)-Si-alkyl chain/Hg junctions. Based on negative differential resistance in an analogous semiconductor-inorganic insulator/metal junction we suggest that for both p(++)- and n(++)-type junctions, the energy difference between the Fermi level and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO), i.e., electron tunneling, controls charge transport. This conclusion is supported by results from photoelectron spectroscopy (ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy, inverse photoelectron spectroscopy, and x-ray photoemission spectroscopy) for the molecule-Si band alignment at equilibrium, which clearly indicate that the energy difference between the Fermi level and the LUMO is much smaller than that between the Fermi level and the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO). Furthermore, the experimentally determined Fermi level - LUMO energy difference, agrees with the non-resonant tunneling barrier height, deduced from the exponential length attenuation of the current.
(2012). Structure Matters: Correlating temperature dependent electrical transport through alkyl monolayers with vibrational and photoelectron spectroscopies. Chemical Science. 3:(3)851-862. Abstract
Freezing out of molecular motion and increased molecular tilt enhance the efficiency of electron transport through alkyl chain monolayers that are directly chemically bound to oxide-free Si. As a result, the current across such monolayers increases as the temperature decreases from room temperature to similar to 80 K, i.e., opposite to thermally activated transport such as hopping or semiconductor transport. The 30-fold change for transport through an 18-carbon long alkyl monolayer is several times the resistance change for actual metals over this range. FTIR vibrational spectroscopic measurements indicate that cooling increases the packing density and reduces the motional freedom of the alkyl chains by first stretching the chains and then gradually tilting the adsorbed molecules away from the surface normal. Ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy shows drastic sharpening of the valence band structure as the temperature decreases, which we ascribe to decreased electron-phonon coupling. Although conformational changes are typical in soft molecular systems, in molecular electronics they are rarely observed experimentally or considered theoretically. Our findings, though, indicate that the molecular conformational changes are a prominent feature, which imply behavior that differs qualitatively from that described by models of electronic transport through inorganic mesoscopic solids.
(2011). Filled and empty states of alkanethiol monolayer on Au (111): Fermi level asymmetry and implications for electron transport. Chemical Physics Letters. 511:(6-Apr)344-347. Abstract
The electronic structure of the prototypical self-assembled monolayer (SAM) system, i.e. alkanethiol molecules on Au, is investigated via ultraviolet and inverse photoemission spectroscopy measurements. The determination of the density of filled and empty states of the system reveals that the metal Fermi level is significantly closer to the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) of the molecules than to their highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO). The results suggest that charge carrier tunneling is controlled by the LUMO, rather than by the HOMO, in contrast to what is commonly assumed. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
(2010). Electronic Contact Deposition onto Organic Molecular Monolayers: Can We Detect Metal Penetration?. Advanced Functional Materials. 20:(13)2181-2188. Abstract
Using a semiconductor as the substrate to a molecular organic layer, penetration of metal contacts can be clearly identified by the study of electronic charge transport through the layer. A series of monolayers of saturated hydrocarbon molecules with varying lengths is assembled on Si or GaAs and the junctions resulting after further electronic contact is made by liquid Hg, indirect metal evaporation, and a "ready-made" metal pad are measured. In contrast to tunneling characteristics, which are ambiguous regarding contact penetration, the semiconductor surface barrier is very sensitive to any direct contact with a metal. With the organic monolayer intact, a metal insulator semiconductor (MIS) structure results. If metal penetrated the monolayer, the junction behaves as a metal semiconductor (MS) structure. By comparing a molecule-free interface (MS junction) with a molecularly modified one (presumably MIS), possible metal penetration is identified. The major indicators are the semiconductor electronic transport barrier height, extracted from the junction transport characteristics, and the photovoltage. The approach does not require a series of different monolayers and data analysis is quite straightforward, helping to identify non-invasive ways to make electronic contact to soft matter.
(2010). Nondestructive Contact Deposition for Molecular Electronics: Si-Alkyl//Au Junctions. Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 114:(29)12769-12776. Abstract
One of the major problems in molecular electronics is how to make electronically conducting contact to the "soft" organic and biomolecules without altering the molecules. As a result, only a small number of metals can be applied, mostly by special deposition methods with severe limitations. Transferring a predefined thin metal leaf onto a molecular layer provides a nondestructive, noninvasive contacting method that is, in principle, applicable to many types of metal and a variety of metal/molecules combinations. Here we report a modification of our earlier lift-off, float-on (LOFO) method, using as a basis its offspring, the polymer-assisted lift-off (PALO) method, where a backing polymer enables simultaneous deposition of multiple contacts as well as reduces wrinkles in the thin metal leaf. The modified PALO (MoPALO) method, reported here, adds lithography steps to obviate the need to punch through the polymer, as is done to complete PALO contacts. Morphological characterization of the electrodes indicates highly uniform, wrinkle-free contacts of negligible roughness. The good electrical performance of the MoPALO contacts was proven with metal/organic-monolayer/semiconductor (MOMS) junctions, which are known to be very sensitive to molecular degradation and metal penetration. We also show how MoPALO contacts enabled us to compare the effect of varying the metal work function and contact area on the current-voltage characteristics of MOMS devices.
(2010). Hg/Molecular Monolayer-Si Junctions: Electrical Interplay between Monolayer Properties and Semiconductor Doping Density. Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 114:(22)10270-10279. Abstract
Metal-organic molecule-semiconductor junctions are controlled not only by the molecular properties, as in metal-organic molecule-metal junctions, but also by effects of the molecular dipole, the dipolar molecule-semiconductor link, and molecule-semiconductor charge transfer, and by the effects of all these on the semiconductor depletion layer (i.e., on the internal semiconductor barrier to charge transport). Here, we report on and compare the electrical properties (current-voltage, capacitance-voltage, and work function) of large area Hg/organic monolayer-Si junctions with alkyl and alkenyl monolayers on moderately and highly doped n-Si, and combine the experimental data with simulations of charge transport and electronic structure calculations. We show that, for moderately doped Si, the internal semiconductor barrier completely controls transport and the attached molecules influence the transport of such junctions only in that they drive the Si into inversion. The resulting minority carrier-controlled junction is not sensitive to molecular changes in the organic monolayer at reverse and low forward bias and is controlled by series resistance at higher forward bias. However, in the case of highly doped Si, the internal barrier is smaller, and as a result, the charge transport properties of the junction are affected by changing from an alkyl to an alkenyl monolayer. We propose that the double bond near the surface primarily increases the coupling between the organic monolayer and the Si, which increases the current density at a given bias by increasing the contact conductance.
(2010). Molecules on Si: Electronics with Chemistry. Advanced Materials. 22:(2)140-159. Abstract
Basic scientific interest in using a semiconducting electrode in molecule- based electronics arises from the rich electrostatic landscape presented by semiconductor interfaces. Technological interest rests on the promise that combining existing semiconductor (primarily Si) electronics with (mostly organic) molecules will result in a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts. Such a hybrid approach appears presently particularly relevant for sensors and photovoltaics. Semiconductors, especially Si, present an important experimental test-bed for assessing electronic transport behavior of molecules, because they allow varying the critical interface energetics without out, to a first approximation, altering the interfacial chemistry. To investigate semiconductor-molecule electronics we need reproducible, high-yield preparations of samples that allow reliable and reproducible data collection. Only in that way can we explore how the molecule/electrode interfaces affect or even dictate charge transport, which may then provide a basis for models with predictive power. To consider these issues and questions we will, in this Progress Report, review junctions based on direct bonding of molecules to oxide-free Si. describe the possible charge transport mechanisms across such interfaces and evaluate in how far they can be quantified. investigate to what extent imperfections in the monolayer are important for transport across the monolayer. revisit the concept of energy levels in such hybrid systems.
(2009). Molecular Electronics at Metal/Semiconductor Junctions. Si Inversion by Sub-Nanometer Molecular Films. Nano Letters. 9:(6)2390-2394. Abstract
Electronic transport across n-Si-alkyl monolayer/Hg junctions is, at reverse and low forward bias, independent of alkyl chain length from 18 down to 1 or 2 carbons! This and further recent results indicate that electron transport is minority, rather than majority carrier dominated, occurs via generation and recombination, rather than (the earlier assumed) thermionic emission, and, as such, is rather insensitive to interface properties. The (m)ethyl results show that binding organic molecules directly to semiconductors provides semiconductor/metal interface control options, not accessible otherwise.