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Experimental evidence for sub-3-fs charge transfer from an aromatic adsorbate to a semiconductor

  • J Schnadt
  • PA Bruhwiler
  • L Patthey
  • JN O'Shea
  • S Sodergren
  • M Odelius
  • R Ahuja
  • O Karis
  • M Bassler
  • Petter Persson
  • H Siegbahn
  • S Lunell
  • Nils Mårtensson
Publiceringsår: 2002
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 620-623
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Nature
Volym: 418
Nummer: 6898
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Nature Publishing Group


The ultrafast timescale of electron transfer processes is crucial to their role in many biological systems and technological devices. In dye-sensitized solar cells(1-4), the electron transfer from photoexcited dye molecules to nanostructured semiconductor substrates needs to be sufficiently fast to compete effectively against loss processes and thus achieve high solar energy conversion efficiencies(4). Time-resolved laser techniques indicate an upper limit of 20 to 100 femtoseconds(5-9) for the time needed to inject an electron from a dye into a semiconductor, which corresponds to the timescale on which competing processes such as charge redistribution(10,11) and intramolecular thermalization of excited states(12-14) occur. Here we use resonant photoemission spectroscopy, which has previously been used to monitor electron transfer in simple systems with an order-of-magnitude improvement in time resolution(15,16), to show that electron transfer from an aromatic adsorbate to a TiO2 semiconductor surface can occur in less than 3 fs. These results directly confirm that electronic coupling of the aromatic molecule to its substrate is sufficiently strong to suppress competing processes(17).


  • Physical Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics


  • ISSN: 0028-0836

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