Clarification of the role of the spin state that initiates exciton dissociation is critical to attaining a fundamental understanding of the mechanism of organic photovoltaics. Although an excited spin-triplet state with an energy lower than that of excited spin-singlet state is disadvantageous in exciton dissociation, a small electron exchange integral results in small singlet-triplet energy splitting in some material systems. This energy splitting leads to a nearly isoenergetic alignment of both excited states, raising a question about the role of excited spin states in exciton dissociation. Herein, we show that the spin-triplet rather than the spin-singlet plays a critical role in the exciton dissociation that leads to the formation of free carriers. This result indicates that the spin-triplet inherently acts as an intermediate, leading to exciton dissociation. Thus, our demonstration provides a fundamental understanding of the role of excited spin states of organic molecular systems in photoinduced charge-carrier generation.
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