Versatile surface plasmon resonance of carbon-dot-supported silver nanoparticles in polymer optoelectronic devices

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The coupling of surface plasmons and excitons in organic materials can improve the performance of organic optoelectronic devices. Here, we prepare carbon-dot-supported silver nanoparticles (CD–Ag nanoparticles) using the carbon dots both as a reducing agent and a template to fabricate solution-processable polymer light-emitting diodes and polymer solar cells. The surface plasmon resonance effect of CD–Ag nanoparticles allows significant radiative emission and additional light absorption, leading to remarkably enhanced current efficiency of 27.16 cd A−1 and a luminous efficiency of 18.54 lm W−1 in polymer light-emitting diodes as well as a power conversion efficiency of 8.31% and an internal quantum efficiency of 99% in polymer solar cells compared with control devices (current efficiency = 11.65 cd A−1 and luminous efficiency = 6.33 lm W−1 in polymer light-emitting diodes; power conversion efficiency = 7.53% and internal quantum efficiency = 91% in polymer solar cells). These results demonstrate that CD–Ag nanoparticles constitute a versatile and effective route for achieving high-performance polymer optoelectronic devices.

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Figure 1: Schematic illustration and characterization of CD-Ag nanoparticles.
Figure 2: Simulation of the electromagnetic field distribution for CD–Ag nanoparticles.
Figure 3: Effect of CD–Ag nanoparticles on the fluorescence of polymer films.
Figure 4: Device structure and characteristics of polymer OEDs incorporating CD–Ag nanoparticles.
Figure 5: IQE of PTB7:PC71BM-based PSCs with CD–Ag nanoparticles.


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This research was supported by the WCU (World Class University) programme through the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (R31-2008-000-20012-0), the National Research Foundation of Korea (grant 2009-0093020), the Korea Healthcare technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Korea (A091047), and an International Cooperation of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Korea Government Ministry of Knowledge Economy (2012T100100740). The authors thank H-J. Shin for performing kelvin probe force microscopy for work function measurements.

Author information

H.C. designed and conducted most of the experiments, analysed the data and prepared the manuscript. S-J.K. performed PLEDs fabrication and characterization. T.K. and B.R.L. helped with the PLEDs fabrication experiments. Y.C. and P.J. contributed to the synthesis of carbon dots and characterization of CD–Ag nanoparticles by TEM, XPS and Raman spectroscopy. J-W.J. and J-R.J. performed FDTD calculations of the electric-field distribution of the CD–Ag nanoparticles. H.J.C. and M.C. contributed to ASE measurement. M.H.S. helped with interpreting data about PLEDs and ASE measurements. I-W.H. contributed to TCSPC measurements and data analysis. J.Y.K. and B-S.K. initiated the study, designed all the experiments, analysed the data and prepared the manuscript. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Correspondence to Byeong-Su Kim or Jin Young Kim.

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Choi, H., Ko, S., Choi, Y. et al. Versatile surface plasmon resonance of carbon-dot-supported silver nanoparticles in polymer optoelectronic devices. Nature Photon 7, 732–738 (2013) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2013.181

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