Resolving Nonlinear Recombination Dynamics in Semiconductors via Ultrafast Excitation Correlation Spectroscopy: Photoluminescence versus Photocurrent Detection.

Rojas-Gatjens, Esteban; Yallum, Kaila M; Shi, Yangwei; Zheng, Yulong; Bills, Tyler; Perini, Carlo A R; Correa-Baena, Juan-Pablo; Ginger, David S; Banerji, Natalie; Silva-Acuña, Carlos (2023). Resolving Nonlinear Recombination Dynamics in Semiconductors via Ultrafast Excitation Correlation Spectroscopy: Photoluminescence versus Photocurrent Detection. Journal of physical chemistry. C, 127(32), pp. 15969-15977. American Chemical Society 10.1021/acs.jpcc.3c04755

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We explore the application of excitation correlation spectroscopy to detect nonlinear photophysical dynamics in two distinct semiconductor classes through time-integrated photoluminescence and photocurrent measurements. In this experiment, two variably delayed femtosecond pulses excite the semiconductor, and the time-integrated photoluminescence or photocurrent component arising from the nonlinear dynamics of the populations induced by each pulse is measured as a function of inter-pulse delay by phase-sensitive detection with a lock-in amplifier. We focus on two limiting materials systems with contrasting optical properties: a prototypical lead-halide perovskite (LHP) solar cell, in which primary photoexcitations are charge photocarriers, and a single-component organic-semiconductor diode, which features Frenkel excitons as primary photoexcitations. The photoexcitation dynamics perceived by the two detection schemes in these contrasting systems are distinct. Nonlinear-dynamic contributions in the photoluminescence detection scheme arise from contributions to radiative recombination in both materials systems, while photocurrent arises directly in the LHP but indirectly following exciton dissociation in the organic system. Consequently, the basic photophysics of the two systems are reflected differently when comparing measurements with the two detection schemes. Our results indicate that photoluminescence detection in the LHP system provides valuable information about trap-assisted and Auger recombination processes, but that these processes are convoluted in a nontrivial way in the photocurrent response and are therefore difficult to differentiate. In contrast, the organic-semiconductor system exhibits more directly correlated responses in the nonlinear photoluminescence and photocurrent measurements, as charge carriers are secondary excitations only generated through exciton dissociation processes. We propose that bimolecular annihilation pathways mainly contribute to the generation of charge carriers in single-component organic semiconductor devices. Overall, our work highlights the utility of excitation correlation spectroscopy in modern semiconductor materials research, particularly in the analysis of nonlinear photophysical processes, which are deterministic for their electronic and optical properties.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Yallum, Kaila Morgan, Banerji, Natalie


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
000 Computer science, knowledge & systems




American Chemical Society




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Date Deposited:

23 Aug 2023 16:18

Last Modified:

24 Aug 2023 12:21

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