Reconciling macro- with nano- carrier mobility measurements in organic photovoltaic blends

Yamila M. Omar, Carlo Maragliano, Matteo Chiesa, Amal Al Ghaferi, Marco Stefancich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conductive atomic force microscopy (CAFM) is a valuable tool for electrical characterization of organic photovoltaics. However, the quantitative interpretation of the data is complicated by an apparent disagreement between the carrier mobilities calculated by CAFM and those determined by macroscopic measurements, with no apparent physical explanation for the discrepancy. In the present work, the space charge limited current model (specifically Mott-Gurney law) and its assumptions are assessed, and a physical model reconciling this discrepancy is proposed. Its applicability on the tip-sample system used in CAFM measurements is discussed, by accounting for the high electric fields arising around the tip of the CAFM probe and affecting carrier mobility. Charge carrier mobility is calculated from current-voltage curves obtained from conductive atomic force microscopy spectroscopy scans done on Poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5- diyl): 95% PC70BM ([6,6]-Phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester)/5% PC60BM ([6,6]-Phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester) samples for different concentration ratios of donor and acceptor. We show that charge carrier mobilities obtained with this model are in satisfactory agreement with macroscopic measurements available in literature.

Original languageBritish English
Article number173905
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - 28 Apr 2014


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