Charge separation in P3HT:SWCNT blends studied by EPR: Spin signature of the photoinduced charged state in SWCNT

Jens Niklas, Josh M. Holt, Kevin Mistry, Garry Rumbles, Jeffrey L. Blackburn, Oleg G. Poluektov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) could be employed in organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices as a replacement or additive for currently used fullerene derivatives, but significant research remains to explain fundamental aspects of charge generation. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, which is sensitive only to unpaired electrons, was applied to explore charge separation in P3HT:SWCNT blends. The EPR signal of the P3HT positive polaron increases as the concentration of SWCNT acceptors in a photoexcited P3HT:SWCNT blend is increased, demonstrating long-lived charge separation induced by electron transfer from P3HT to SWCNTs. An EPR signal from reduced SWCNTs was not identified in blends due to the free and fast-relaxing nature of unpaired SWCNT electrons as well as spectral overlap of this EPR signal with the signal from positive P3HT polarons. However, a weak EPR signal was observed in chemically reduced SWNTs, and the g values of this signal are close to those of C70-PCBM anion radical. The anisotropic line shape indicates that these unpaired electrons are not free but instead localized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-606
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 6 2014


  • bulk heterojunctions
  • electron paramagnetic resonance
  • fullerene
  • organic photovoltaic
  • polymer
  • radical anion
  • radical cation
  • single-wall carbon nanotubes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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