Work Function Modification via Combined Charge-Based Through-Space Interaction and Surface Interaction

Peter Green, Da Yang, David Bilby, Kyeongwoon Chung, Jill Wenderott, Jacob Jordahl, Bo Kim, Joerg Lahann, Jinsang Kim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Scopus Citations


    Work function modification of electrodes is an important factor to achieve high performance in organic electronics. However, a clear explanation of the origin of work function modification has remained elusive. Here, it is investigated how the work function of electrodes is affected by the charge-based through-space interaction with the well-known surface interaction. The studies reveal that the formation of a surface dipole leads to a work function shift, even when the work function modifying layer and substrate are separated. A work function shift is also demonstrated by electrophoretic deposition of ionic polyelectrolytes while the same polyelectrolytes do not cause any work function shift when they are spin cast. More noteworthy is that a neutral (nonionic) polymer which has no specific surface-interacting functional groups can induce work function shift of its substrate by a charge-based through-space interaction when deposited by electrospraying. These results provide a more comprehensive understanding of work function modification and motivate the design and selection of a wide range of effective work function modifying layers for organic electronics.

    Original languageAmerican English
    Article number1800471
    Number of pages6
    JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
    Issue number15
    StatePublished - 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/JA-5A00-72288


    • organic electronics
    • polyelectrolyte
    • work function


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