Fluorescence-Voltage Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Conjugated Polymers


Paul F. Barbara Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas at Austin

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Single molecule spectroscopy (SMS) has been recently used extensively to study semiconductor nanomaterials, including semiconductor nanocrystals, and nanostructured conjugated polymers. SMS has made the complex photophysical processes accessible on these heterogeneous materials that are often obscured in ordinary ensemble measurements. For example, the molecular structure and photophysical dynamics of single isolated polymer chains (molecules) of conjugated polymers have been successfully investigated using SMS, because the spectroscopy of single polymer chains, as opposed to the bulk material, has the advantage of tremendously reducing the size and complexity.

A new SMS technique has recently been introduced for investigation of functional nanomaterials by involving simultaneously controllable oxidation/reduction or charge injection in an electronic device. The new technique denoted by fluorescence-voltage SMS (F-V/SMS) is analogous to current-voltage (I-V) measurements for devices and electrochemical cells. F-V/SMS has been proven to be a powerful tool for studying the photophysics and charge-transfer processes of conjugated polymers, giving new insights into the complex interaction of excited and charged species that exist in a device environment.