Polaron hopping mediated by nuclear tunnelling in semiconducting polymers at high carrier density

Kamal Asadi, Auke J. Kronemeijer, Tobias Cramer, L. Jan Anton Koster, Paul W.M. Blom, Dago M. De Leeuw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Citations (SciVal)


The transition rate for a single hop of a charge carrier in a semiconducting polymer is assumed to be thermally activated. As the temperature approaches absolute zero, the predicted conductivity becomes infinitesimal in contrast to the measured finite conductivity. Here we present a uniform description of charge transport in semiconducting polymers, including the existence of absolute-zero ground-state oscillations that allow nuclear tunnelling through classical barriers. The resulting expression for the macroscopic current shows a power-law dependence on both temperature and voltage. To suppress the omnipresent disorder, the predictions are experimentally verified in semiconducting polymers at high carrier density using chemically doped in-plane diodes and ferroelectric field-effect transistors. The renormalized current-voltage characteristics of various polymers and devices at all temperatures collapse on a single universal curve, thereby demonstrating the relevance of nuclear tunnelling for organic electronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1710
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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