JETP Letters

, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 17–21 | Cite as

Quantum autoionization of molecular excitons and photovoltaic conversion

  • V. A. Benderskii
  • E. I. Kats
Condensed Matter


This paper explores a novel way of charge separation (autoionization) of molecular excitons, by quantum tunneling through a p-n nanojunction. This mechanism can dominate the standard one (i.e., when Frenkel exciton is ionized at donor or acceptor impurity sites) for very short, nanosized, p-n junction, where the junction electric field can be strong for relatively small (on the order of 1 V) voltage drop. Within a simple one-dimensional model for the depletion region of the p-n junction (donor and acceptor reservoirs connected by a short molecular wire) we compute the quantum yield Y b for the tunneling exciton autoionization in the “bulk” of the depletion region. For modern organic photosensitive materials with p-n junction size on the order of 10–20 nm, Y b could be close to 1. Such a high efficiency of the charge separation (one of the main factor entering figure of merit, indicating how good are photovoltaic conversion cells) makes this new mechanism potentially very perspective for the applications.


JETP Letter Charge Separation Depletion Region Quantum Tunneling Diagonal Matrix Element 
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© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Problems of Chemical PhysicsRussian Academy of SciencesChernogolovka, Moscow regionRussia
  2. 2.Landau Institute for Theoretical PhysicsRussian Academy of SciencesChernogolovka, Moscow regionRussia
  3. 3.Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University)Dolgoprudnyi, Moscow regionRussia

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