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Effect of multiple adduct fullerenes on microstructure and phase behavior of P3HT:Fullerene blend films for organic solar cells

Guilbert, Anne A. Y., Reynolds, Luke X., Bruno, Annalisa, MacLachlan, Andrew, King, Simon P., Faist, Mark A., Pires, Ellis, Macdonald, J. Emyr, Stingelin, Natalie, Haque, Saif A. and Nelson, Jenny 2012. Effect of multiple adduct fullerenes on microstructure and phase behavior of P3HT:Fullerene blend films for organic solar cells. ACS Nano 6 (5) , p. 3868. 10.1021/nn204996w

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The bis and tris adducts of [6,6]phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) offer lower reduction potentials than PCBM and are therefore expected to offer larger open-circuit voltages and more efficient energy conversion when blended with conjugated polymers in photovoltaic devices in place of PCBM. However, poor photovoltaic device performances are commonly observed when PCBM is replaced with higher-adduct fullerenes. In this work, we use transmission electron microscopy (TEM), steady-state and ultrafast time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to probe the microstructural properties of blend films of poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) with the bis and tris adducts of PCBM. TEM and PL indicate that, in as-spun blend films, fullerenes become less soluble in P3HT as the number of adducts increases. PL indicates that upon annealing crystallization leads to phase separation in P3HT:PCBM samples only. DSC studies indicate that the interactions between P3HT and the fullerene become weaker with higher-adduct fullerenes and that all systems exhibit eutectic phase behavior with a eutectic composition being shifted to higher molar fullerene content for higher-adduct fullerenes. We propose two different mechanisms of microstructure development for PCBM and higher-adduct fullerenes. P3HT:PCBM blends, phase segregation is the result of crystallization of either one or both components and is facilitated by thermal treatments. In contrast, for blends containing higher adducts, the phase separation is due to a partial demixing of the amorphous phases. We rationalize the lower photocurrent generation by the higher-adduct fullerene blends in terms of film microstructure.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 1936-0851
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2018 14:47

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