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Managing BHJ microstructural evolution for long-term photoconversion efficiency

DOI: 10.1117/12.2238167 DOI Help

Authors: Josue Martinez Hardigree (University of Oxford) , Graham E. Morse (Merck Chemicals Ltd) , Priti Tiwana (Merck Chemicals Ltd) , Giulio Mazzotta (University of Oxford) , Ivan R. Ramirez (University of Oxford) , Christopher L. Nicklin (Diamond Light Source) , Owen R. Lozman (University of Oxford) , Moritz K. Riede (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Conference Paper
Conference: Organic Photovoltaics XVII
Peer Reviewed: No

State: Published (Approved)
Published: November 2016

Abstract: In this presentation we evaluate the thermal and light-soaking stability of polymer:fullerene bulk heterojunctions (BHJs) based on a donor polymer recently developed by Merck Chemicals. Blade-coated thin films of pure polymer and BHJs incorporating either PC61BM or PC71BM were investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM), grazing-incidence x-ray diffraction (GIXD), neutron reflectivity (NR), and UV-Visible spectroscopy. The addition of fullerene to the polymer at device-relevant concentrations (25-50% by weight) results in a 7-fold reduction in surface roughness relative to pure polymer films, attributed to a reduction in the pure polymer domain size with increasingly homogeneous polymer:fullerene mixing. Films subjected to accelerated stressing relevant to scalable OPV fabrication—thermal stressing at 120 °C for 1 hour or light-soaking under AM1.5 light for 8 hours—indicate robust stability to stressing, with thin films showing marginal but monotonic increases in roughness with increasing fullerene concentration. Wide-angle GIXD measurements indicate a contraction of 1-4% in features attributed to polymer crystalline domains upon annealing. Comparison of pre-and post-annealed films reveals increased correlation between polymer scattering features in the latter, consistent with improved ordering of the polymer backbone and sidechains. These findings, together with GIXD measurements of full device stacks and accelerated aging measurements of operational cells, support recent reports on the high photoconversion efficiency stability of this polymer BHJ system for highly scalable, long-lifetime OPVs.

Subject Areas: Chemistry

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