Effects of Oriented Surface Dipole on Photoconversion Efficiency in an Alkane/Lipid-Hybrid-Bilayer-Based Photovoltaic Model System

Lixia Liu, Hong Xie, Heidi E. Bostic, Limei Jin, Michael D. Best, X. Peter Zhang, Wei Zhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


When a phospholipid monolayer containing a zinc-coordinated porphyrin species formed atop a self-assembled monolayer of heptadecafluoro-1-decanethiol (CF3(CF2)7(CH2)2SH) is subjected to photoelectrochemical current generation, a significant modulation effect is observed. Compared with devices that contain similar photoactive lipid monolayers but formed on 1-dodecanethiol SAMs, these fluorinated hybrid bilayers produce a >60 % increase in cathodic currents and a similar decrease in anodic currents. Photovoltages recorded from these hybrid bilayers are found to vary in the same fashion. The modulation of photovoltaic responses in these hybrid-bilayer-based devices is explained by the opposite surface dipoles associated with the thiols employed in this study, which in one case (fluorothiol) increase and in another (alkanethiol) decrease the work function of the underlying gold substrates. A similar trend of photovoltage/photocurrent modulation is also observed if fullerene is used as the photoagent in these devices. Our results reveal the intricacy of orientated surface dipole in influencing the photovoltaic processes, and its subtle interplay with other factors related to the photoagents, such as their location and orientation within the organic matrix. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2777-2785
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 21 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): FIC/2010/06
Acknowledgements: This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (award No.: CHE-0951743 to W.Z., CHE-0954297 to M. D. B., and CHE-1152767 to X.P.Z.). X.P.Z. also acknowledges support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) (Award FIC/2010/06). Computation in this work was carried out using facilities at the Alabama Supercomputer Center. W.Z. thanks Dr. O. Acevedo (AU) for providing software for calculation.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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