Research ArticleMATERIALS SCIENCE

Exciton funneling in light-harvesting organic semiconductor microcrystals for wavelength-tunable lasers

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Science Advances  14 Jun 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 6, eaaw2953
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953

Abstract

Organic solid-state lasers are essential for various photonic applications, yet current-driven lasing remains a great challenge. Charge transfer (CT) complexes formed with p-/n-type organic semiconductors show great potential in electrically pumped lasers, but it is still difficult to achieve population inversion owing to substantial nonradiative loss from delocalized CT states. Here, we demonstrate the lasing action of CT complexes based on exciton funneling in p-type organic microcrystals with n-type doping. The CT complexes with narrow bandgap were locally formed and surrounded by the hosts with high-lying energy levels, which behave as artificial light-harvesting systems. Excitation light energy captured by the hosts was delivered to the CT complexes, functioning as exciton funnels to benefit lasing actions. The lasing wavelength of such composite microcrystals was further modulated by varying the degree of CT. The results offer a comprehensive understanding of exciton funneling in light-harvesting systems for the development of high-performance organic lasing devices.

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