Electron affinity of Phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM)

Bryon W. Larson, James B. Whitaker, Xue Bin Wang, Alexey A. Popov, Garry Rumbles, Nikos Kopidakis, Steven H. Strauss, Olga V. Boltalina

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The gas-phase electron affinity (EA) of phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), one of the best-performing electron acceptors in organic photovoltaic devices, was measured by low-temperature photoelectron spectroscopy for the first time. The obtained value of 2.63(1) eV is only ca. 0.05 eV lower than that of C60 (2.683(8) eV), compared to a 0.09 V difference in their E1/2 values measured in this work by cyclic voltammetry. Literature E(LUMO) values for PCBM that are typically estimated from cyclic voltammetry and commonly used as a quantitative measure of acceptor properties are dispersed over a wide range between -4.38 and -3.62 eV; the reasons for such a huge discrepancy are analyzed here, and a protocol for reliable and consistent estimations of relative fullerene-based acceptor strength in solution is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14958-14964
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - Jul 25 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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    Larson, B. W., Whitaker, J. B., Wang, X. B., Popov, A. A., Rumbles, G., Kopidakis, N., Strauss, S. H., & Boltalina, O. V. (2013). Electron affinity of Phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 117(29), 14958-14964. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp403312g