Ligand-Directed Self-Assembly of Organic-Semiconductor/Quantum-Dot Blend Films Enables Efficient Triplet Exciton-Photon Conversion

Victor Gray, Daniel T.W. Toolan, Simon Dowland, Jesse R. Allardice, Michael P. Weir, Zhilong Zhang, James Xiao, Anastasia Klimash, Jurjen F. Winkel, Emma K. Holland, Garrett M. Fregoso, John E. Anthony, Hugo Bronstein, Richard Friend, Anthony J. Ryan, Richard A.L. Jones, Neil C. Greenham, Akshay Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blends comprising organic semiconductors and inorganic quantum dots (QDs) are relevant for many optoelectronic applications and devices. However, the individual components in organic-QD blends have a strong tendency to aggregate and phase-separate during film processing, compromising both their structural and electronic properties. Here, we demonstrate a QD surface engineering approach using electronically active, highly soluble semiconductor ligands that are matched to the organic semiconductor host material to achieve well-dispersed inorganic-organic blend films, as characterized by X-ray and neutron scattering, and electron microscopies. This approach preserves the electronic properties of the organic and QD phases and also creates an optimized interface between them. We exemplify this in two emerging applications, singlet-fission-based photon multiplication (SF-PM) and triplet-triplet annihilation-based photon upconversion (TTA-UC). Steady-state and time-resolved optical spectroscopy shows that triplet excitons can be transferred with near unity efficiently across the organic-inorganic interface, while the organic films maintain efficient SF (190% yield) in the organic phase. By changing the relative energy between organic and inorganic components, yellow upconverted emission is observed upon 790 nm NIR excitation. Overall, we provide a highly versatile approach to overcome longstanding challenges in the blending of organic semiconductors with QDs that have relevance for many optical and optoelectronic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7763-7770
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 20 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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