Surface Plasmons in Next-Generation Conjugated Polymer Optoelectronics: A Help or a Hindrance?

D.M.O. Carroll, B. Yu, C. Petoukhoff, J. Kohl
Rutgers University, US

Keywords: optoelectronics, surface plasmons, conjugated polymers


Optical and electronic interactions between organic conjugated polymer semiconductor materials and metal nanostructures that support surface plasmons can improve or impede polymer optoelectronic device performance. To optimize surface plasmon-conjugated polymer interactions for improved emission quantum efficiency, radiative decay rate, or light-harvesting and trapping, the metal nanostructures must be designed to minimize exciton quenching and light absorption in the metal, and to preserve or enhance the electrical characteristics of the device such as charge carrier injection or collection. This presentation will discuss theoretical and experimental studies that identify routes to optimized surface plasmon/conjugated polymer interactions for optoelectronic applications such as solid-state lighting, lasing and photovoltaics. Radiative decay rate enhancements and modified quantum efficiency in conjugated polymer materials integrated with a variety of plasmonic nanoantenna structures will be presented for use as efficient light sources. Designs for optimizing surface plasmon polariton interactions at the interface between optically-thin metallic films and conjugated polymer gain media will be discussed, with a view to realization of effective polymer-based lasers. Finally, design principles surface plasmon-assisted polymer-based photovoltaic devices will be presented. This work seeks to elucidate the effectiveness of plasmonics when applied to organic optoelectronic materials and devices.