Photoelectron Spectroscopic Study of the Interfacial Electronic Structures of Metal-Ion Containing Polyelectrolytes on ITO Substrates

Jin Hee Lee, Yeasin Khan, Seunghwan Kim, Ae Jin Choi, Bright Walker, Soohyung Park, Jung Hwa Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research in the field of organic electronics has witnessed dramatic improvements in device performance over the past several decades through an ever-improving understanding of electron and hole movement and the development of new interfacial materials. In this study, a type of interfacial material that relies on ionic charges comprising metal:poly(styrenesulfonate) (PSS) polyelectrolytes are synthesized and investigated as structural analogs of the ubiquitously used poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene:polystyrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) hole transport layer, in order to investigate correlations between metal cation ions and the cationic PEDOT component. The metal ions selected for this study include Li, Mg, V, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pd, Ag, Cs, and Pb ions. To analyze the interfacial energy level alignment, electronic band structure, and band bending at the Indium tin oxide (ITO)/metal:PSS interface, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) are employed. Alkali (earth) and post-transition metals show deep highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) levels and low work function (WF) due to Fermi level balance, implying poor hole transport. Remarkably, Cu:PSS displays a unique electronic structure, suggesting potential as a hole transport layer with increased WF and low hole injection barrier. Period 5 transition metals mirror PEDOT:PSS trends, and Ag:PSS holds the potential to form effective ohmic contacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2315074
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Volume34
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - 29 May 2024

Keywords

  • energy level alignment
  • interfacial material
  • metal doped polyelectrolyte
  • photoelectron spectroscopy

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