Doping Evolution and Junction Formation in Stacked Cyanine Dye Light-Emitting Electrochemical Cells
Cyanine dyes are fluorescent organic salts with intrinsic conductivity for ionic and electronic charges. Recently (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 18008-18011), these features have been exploited in cyanine light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs). Here, we demonstrate that stacked, constant-voltage driven trimethine cyanine LECs with various counteranions develop a p-i-n junction that is composed of p- and n-doped zones and an intrinsic region where light-emission occurs. We introduce a method that combines spectral photocurrent response measurements with optical modeling and find that at maximum current the intrinsic region is centered at similar to 37% away from the anode. Transient capacitance, photoluminescence and attenuance experiments indicate a device situation with a narrow p-doped region, an undoped region that occupies similar to 72% of the dye layer thickness and an n-doped region with a maximum doping concentration of 0.08 dopant/cyanine molecule. Finally, we observe that during device relaxation the parent cyanines are not reformed. We ascribe this to irreversible reactions between doped cyanine radicals. For sterically conservative cyanine dyes, this suggests that undesired radical decomposition pathways limit the LEC song-term stability in general.