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11 September 2013 Ultrafast exciton dissociation at donor/acceptor interfaces
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Charge generation at donor/acceptor interface is a highly debated topic in the organic photovoltaics (OPV) community. The primary photoexcited state evolution happens in few femtosecond timescale, thus making very intriguing their full understanding. In particular charge generation is believed to occur in < 200 fs, but no clear picture emerged so far. In this work we reveal for the first time the actual charge generation mechanism following in real time the exciton dissociation mechanism by means of sub-22 fs pump-probe spectroscopy. We study a low-band-gap polymer: fullerene interface as an ideal system for OPV. We demonstrate that excitons dissociation leads, on a timescale of 20-50 fs, to two byproducts: bound interfacial charge transfer states (CTS) and free charges. The branching ratio of their formation depends on the excess photon energy provided. When high energy singlet polymer states are excited, well above the optical band gap, an ultrafast hot electron transfer happens between the polymer singlet state and the interfacial hot CTS* due to the high electronic coupling between them. Hot exciton dissociation prevails then on internal energy dissipation that occurs within few hundreds of fs. By measuring the internal quantum efficiency of a prototypical device a rising trend with energy is observed, thus indicating that hot exciton dissociation effectively leads to a higher fraction of free charges.
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G. Grancini, D. Fazzi, M. Binda, M. Maiuri, A. Petrozza, L. Criante, S. Perissinotto, H.-J. Egelhaaf, D. Brida, G. Cerullo, and G. Lanzani "Ultrafast exciton dissociation at donor/acceptor interfaces", Proc. SPIE 8811, Physical Chemistry of Interfaces and Nanomaterials XII, 88111D (11 September 2013);

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