ITO Work Function Tunability by Polarizable Chromophore Monolayers

Alina Gankin, Evgeniy Mervinetsky, Israel Alshanski, Jörg Buchwald, Arezoo Dianat, Rafael Gutierrez*, Gianaurelio Cuniberti, Ruthy Sfez, Shlomo Yitzchaik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The ability to tune the electronic properties of oxide-bearing semiconductors such as Si/SiO 2 or transparent metal oxides such as indium-tin oxide (ITO) is of great importance in both electronic and optoelectronic device applications. In this work, we describe a process that was conducted on n-type Si/SiO 2 and ITO to induce changes in the substrate work function (WF). The substrates were modified by a two-step synthesis comprising a covalent attachment of coupling agents' monolayer followed by in situ anchoring reactions of polarizable chromophores. The coupling agents and chromophores were chosen with opposite dipole orientations, which enabled the tunability of the substrates' WF. In the first step, two coupling agents with opposite molecular dipole were assembled. The coupling agent with a negative dipole induced a decrease in WF of modified substrates, while the coupling agent with a positive dipole produced an increase in WFs of both ITO and Si substrates. The second modification step consisted of in situ anchoring reaction of polarizable chromophores with opposite dipoles to the coupling layer. This modification led to an additional change in the WFs of both Si/SiO 2 and ITO substrates. The WF was measured by contact potential difference and modeled by density functional theory-based theoretical calculations of the WF for each of the assembly steps. A good fit was obtained between the calculated and experimental trends. This ability to design and tune the WF of ITO substrates was implemented in an organic electronic device with improved I-V characteristics in comparison to a bare ITO-based device.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2997-3004
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - 26 Feb 2019

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© 2019 American Chemical Society.


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