Random, spatially uncorrelated nuclear-hyperfine fields in organic materials dramatically affect electronic transport properties such as electrical conductivity, photoconductivity, and electroluminescence. The influence of these nuclear-hyperfine fields can be overwhelmed by a uniform externally applied magnetic field, even at room temperature where the thermodynamic influences of the resulting nuclear and electronic Zeeman splittings are negligible. As a result, even in applied magnetic fields as small as 10 mT, the kinetics of exciton formation, bipolaron formation, and single-carrier hopping are all modified at room temperature, leading to changes in transport properties in excess of 10% in many materials. Here, we demonstrate a new method of controlling the electrical conductivity of an organic film at room temperature, using the spatially varying magnetic fringe fields of a magnetically unsaturated ferromagnet. (The fringe field is the magnetic field emanating from a ferromagnet, associated with magnetic dipole interactions or, equivalently, the divergence of the magnetization within and at the surfaces of the ferromagnet.) The ferromagnet's fringe fields might act as a substitute for either the applied magnetic field or the inhomogeneous hyperfine field. The size of the effect, the magnetic-field dependence, and hysteretic properties rule out a model where the fringe fields from the ferromagnet provide a local magnetic field that changes the electronic transport properties through the hyperfine field, and show that our effects originate from electrical transport through the inhomogeneous fringe fields coming from the ferromagnet. Surprisingly, these inhomogeneous fringe fields vary over length scales roughly 2 orders of magnitude larger than the hopping length in the organic materials, challenging the fundamental models of magnetoresistance in organic layers which require the correlation length of the inhomogeneous field to correspond roughly to the hopping length.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)