On the Stability of Permanent Electrochemical Doping of Quantum Dot, Fullerene, and Conductive Polymer Films in Frozen Electrolytes for Use in Semiconductor Devices

Solrun Gudjonsdottir, Ward Van Der Stam, Christel Koopman, Bob Kwakkenbos, Wiel H. Evers, Arjan J. Houtepen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Semiconductor films that allow facile ion transport can be electronically doped via electrochemistry, where the amount of injected charge can be controlled by the potential applied. To apply electrochemical doping to the design of semiconductor devices, the injected charge has to be stabilized to avoid unintentional relaxation back to the intrinsic state. Here, we investigate methods to increase the stability of electrochemically injected charges in thin films of a wide variety of semiconductor materials, namely inorganic semiconductors (ZnO NCs, CdSe NCs, and CdSe/CdS core/shell NCs) and organic semiconductors (P3DT, PCBM, and C60). We show that by charging the semiconductors at elevated temperatures in solvents with melting points above room temperature, the charge stability at room temperature increases greatly, from seconds to days. At reduced temperature (-75 °C when using succinonitrile as electrolyte solvent) the injected charge becomes entirely stable on the time scale of our experiments (up to several days). Other high melting point solvents such as dimethyl sulfone, ethylene carbonate, and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) also offer increased charge stability at room temperature. Especially the use of PEG increases the room temperature charge stability by several orders of magnitude compared to using acetonitrile. We discuss how this improvement of the charge stability is related to the immobilization of electrolyte ions and impurities. While the electrolyte ions are immobilized, conductivity measurements show that electrons in the semiconductor films remain mobile. These results highlight the potential of using solidified electrolytes to stabilize injected charges, which is a promising step toward making semiconductor devices based on electrochemically doped semiconductor thin films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4900-4909
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Volume2
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • doping stability
  • electrochemistry
  • quantum dots
  • room temperature freezing
  • semiconductor devices
  • semiconductor films

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