Direct determination of electron injection barrier at metal/organic interfaces

May 1, 2011

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a technique to directly measure the energy barrier that electrical charges encounter when they move across the interface between metals and organic semiconductors.  This achievement advances the fundamental understanding of charge injection and transport mechanisms in organic electronic devices. Organic electronic devices, such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), are being developed for low-cost, energy-efficient lighting applications.  The clear description provided of the charge transport process [see reference] is necessary to improve the efficiency of such devices.  Their research also addresses the controversy in "organic spintronics," where the desire is to replicate the transformative impact that metallic spintronics has had on information technology.  The measured electron injection barriers indicate that recent reports of coherent spin transport in organic spin-valve structures are not supported by intrinsic material properties.  This finding underscores the need to understand charge transport in organic devices before spin transport can be tackled. More »