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Elucidating the Energy- and Electron-Transfer Dynamics of Photon Upconversion in Self-Assembled Bilayers

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journal contribution
posted on 14.08.2017, 00:00 by Tristan Dilbeck, Jamie C. Wang, Yan Zhou, Andrew Olsson, Milan Sykora, Kenneth Hanson
Self-assembled bilayers of acceptor (A) and sensitizer (S) molecules on a metal oxide surface is a promising strategy to facilitate photon upconversion via triplet–triplet annihilation (TTA-UC) and extract charge from the upconverted state. The hypothesized mechanism for TTA-UC in a bilayer film includes low energy light absorption, triplet energy transfer, cross-surface energy migration, triplet–triplet annihilation, and electron injection into TiO2. Nonproductive processes can also occur including sensitizer-sensitizer TTA, radiative/nonradiative decay, back-electron transfer, and others. Steady-state and time-resolved emission/absorption spectroscopy were used to determine the rate constants of these processes. The rate constants indicate that S to A triplet energy transfer as well as S and A nonradiative rates are the primary efficiency-limiting processes for TTA-UC at the interface. This information is necessary to guide the design of new self-assembled UC films and is a critical stepping stone toward the long-term goal of generating a practical UC solar cell.