Multidimensional time-of-flight spectroscopy


Experimental methods based on a wide range of physical principles are used to determine carrier mobilities for light-harvesting materials in photovoltaic cells. For example, in a time-of-flight experiment, a single laser pulse photoexcites the active layer of a device, and the transit time is determined by the arrival of carriers at an acceptor electrode. With inspiration from this conventional approach, we present a multidimensional time-of-flight technique in which carrier transport is tracked with a second intervening laser pulse. Transient populations of separate material components of an active layer may then be established by tuning the wavelengths of the laser pulses into their respective electronic resonances. This experimental technique is demonstrated using photovoltaic cells based on mixtures of organohalide perovskite quantum wells. In these “layered perovskite” systems, charge carriers are funneled between quantum wells with different thicknesses because of staggered band alignments. Multidimensional time-of-flight measurements show that these funneling processes do not support long-range transport because of carrier trapping. Rather, our data suggest that the photocurrent is dominated by processes in which the phases of the thickest quantum wells absorb light and transport carriers without transitions into domains occupied by quantum wells with smaller sizes. These same conclusions cannot be drawn using conventional one-dimensional techniques for measuring carrier mobilities. Advantages and disadvantages of multidimensional time-of-flight experiments are discussed in the context of a model for the signal generation mechanism.


Multidimensional time-of-flight spectroscopy
Zhenyu Ouyang, Ninghao Zhou, Meredith G. McNamee, Liang Yan, Olivia F. Williams, Wei You and Andrew M. Moran
Journal of Chemical Physics 2021 154 (22), 220901
DOI: 10.1063/5.0047382