Journal Article The emergence of charge coherence in soft molecular organic semiconductors via the suppression of thermal fluctuations

Sakai, Kenichi  ,  Okada, Yugo  ,  Uemura, Takafumi  ,  Tsurumi, Junto  ,  Häusermann, Roger  ,  Matsui, Hiroyuki  ,  Fukami, Tatsuya  ,  Ishii, Hiroyuki  ,  Kobayashi, Nobuhiko  ,  Hirose, Kenji  ,  Takeya, Jun

8 ( 3 )  , p.e252 , 2016-03 , NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Organic semiconductors are already widely used in electronics. Nevertheless, their fundamental properties are still being debated. In particular, charge transport, which determines the performance of organic light-emitting diodes, solar cells and organic field-effect transistors, has been described by a wide range of complementary but incompatible theories. These theories involve either localized charge carriers hopping from molecule to molecule, leading to incoherent charge transport, or delocalized charge carriers moving around freely in the semiconductor, leading to coherent transport. In this communication, we reveal the first experimental evidence that charge coherence can be tuned from partially to fully coherent in one and the same material—pentacene—showing a continuous transition from one transport mechanism to the other. Microscopically, the transport mechanism depends on the overlap of adjacent molecular orbitals, which in turn is sensitive to molecular thermal fluctuations. We control these fluctuations through moderate variations of pressure and temperature, leading to a mobility increase of 75%. We quantify the influence of these thermal fluctuations by estimating the critical value below which fully coherent charge transport emerges. The ability to control thermal fluctuations and therefore to effectively tune the charge coherence is an important key to improving charge transport in soft molecular materials.

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