Permanent Electrochemical Doping of Quantum Dots and Semiconductor Polymers

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Abstract

Arguably the most controllable way to control the charge density in various semiconductors, is by electrochemical doping. However, electrochemically injected charges usually disappear within minutes to hours, which is why this technique is not yet used to make semiconductor devices. In this manuscript, electrochemical doping of different semiconductor films (ZnO Quantum Dots (QDs), PbS QDs, and P3DT) is investigated in various high melting-point nitrile-based solvents. It is shown that by charging the semiconductors at elevated temperatures, then cooling down to room temperature where these solvents are frozen, the doping stability increases immensely. Measurements performed in cyanoacetamide show that ion transport is entirely halted at room temperature, and that the n-type conductivity is stable for days, and only drops marginally (≈10%) in several weeks. For p-doped P3DT films, the conductivity is even completely stable during the entire 76 days of the measurement. In an ambient atmosphere, the p-type doping is stable, while the n-type doping disappears in several hours, as electrons react with molecular oxygen. Finally, a pn-junction diode made of a PbS QD film is demonstrated. These results highlight the possibility of using solidified electrolytes for electrochemical doping and for obtaining semiconductor devices wherein the doping density is controlled electrochemically.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • charge stability
  • electrochemical doping
  • electrolyte solvents
  • porous semiconductors
  • quantum dots

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