Self-Assembled Monolayers for Improved Charge Injection of Silver Back Electrodes in Inverted Organic Electronic Devices

Sneha Sreekumar, Marzieh Heidari, Zhongkai Cheng, Hemanth Maddali, Krystal House, Heinz Frei, Elena Galoppini, Deirdre M. O'Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) formed from thiol compounds bound to Ag and Au electrodes have been used as an important strategy in improving the stability and efficiency of optoelectronic devices. Thiol compounds provide only one binding site with the metal electrode which limits their influence. Dithiolane/dithiol compounds can provide multiple binding sites and could be useful in enhancing the performance of the device. In this study, inverted organic semiconducting hole-only devices were fabricated by using Ag back electrodes in conjunction with SAMs formed from disulfide lipoic acid-based compounds and were compared to a long aliphatic chain thiol. The binding and the electronic properties as well as electrical characteristics of the SAMs on silver were studied to look at the influence of their structure on charge injection in the organic semiconductor devices. It was found that the SAMs formed with (±)-α-lipoic acid, isolipoic acid, and (±)-4-phenylbutyl 5-(1,2-dithiolan-3-yl) pentanoate significantly improved the charge injection by either changing the work function of the Ag or altering the physical interaction between the polymer and the metal surface. This study may lead to an understanding of how the nature of the functional groups of the SAM and the number of bonds formed between each SAM molecule and the metal electrode influence the contact resistance and the performance of organic semiconductor devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


  • dithiolanes
  • inverted devices
  • lipoic acid
  • organic semiconductors
  • self-assembled monolayers
  • silver electrodes
  • thiols


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