Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Polymers and Materials Science

Selected Abstracts

High-Yield Synthesis and Electrochemical and Photovoltaic Properties of Indene-C70 Bisadduct

Youjun He
Abstract [6, 6]-Phenyl-C61 -butyric acid methyl ester (PC60BM) is the widely used acceptor material in polymer solar cells (PSCs). Nevertheless, the low LUMO energy level and weak absorption in visible region are its two weak points. For enhancing the solar light harvest, the soluble C70 derivative PC70BM has been used as acceptor instead of PC60BM in high efficiency PSCs in recent years. But, the LUMO level of PC70BM is the same as that of PC60BM, which is too low for the PSCs based on the polymer donors with higher HOMO level, such as poly (3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT). Here, a new soluble C70 derivative, indene-C70 bisadduct (IC70BA), is synthesized with high yield of 58% by a one-pot reaction of indene and C70 at 180 C for 72 h. The electrochemical properties and electronic energy levels of the fullerene derivatives are measured by cyclic voltammetry. The LUMO energy level of IC70BA is 0.19 eV higher than that of PC70BM. The PSC based on P3HT with IC70BA as acceptor shows a higher Voc of 0.84 V and higher power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 5.64%, while the PSC based on P3HT/PC60BM and P3HT/PC70BM displays Voc of 0.59 V and 0.58 V, and PCE of 3.55% and 3.96%, respectively, under the illumination of AM1.5G, 100 mW cm,2. The results indicate that IC70BA is an excellent acceptor for the P3HT-based PSCs and could be a promising new acceptor instead of PC70BM for the high performance PSCs based on narrow bandgap conjugated polymer donor. [source]

Synthesis, Morphology, and Properties of Poly(3-hexylthiophene)- block -Poly(vinylphenyl oxadiazole) Donor,Acceptor Rod,Coil Block Copolymers and Their Memory Device Applications

Yi-Kai Fang
Abstract Novel donor,acceptor rod,coil diblock copolymers of regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT)- block -poly(2-phenyl-5-(4-vinylphenyl)-1,3,4-oxadiaz-ole) (POXD) are successfully synthesized by the combination of a modified Grignard metathesis reaction (GRIM) and atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The effects of the block ratios of the P3HT donor and POXD pendant acceptor blocks on the morphology, field effect transistor mobility, and memory device characteristics are explored. The TEM, SAXS, WAXS, and AFM results suggest that the coil block fraction significantly affects the chain packing of the P3HT block and depresses its crystallinity. The optical absorption spectra indicate that the intramolecular charge transfer between the main chain P3HT donor and the side chain POXD acceptor is relatively weak and the level of order of P3HT chains is reduced by the incorporation of the POXD acceptor. The field effect transistor (FET) hole mobility of the system exhibits a similar trend on the optical properties, which are also decreased with the reduced ordered P3HT crystallinity. The low-lying highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) energy level (,6.08 eV) of POXD is employed as charge trap for the electrical switching memory devices. P3HT- b -POXD exhibits a non-volatile bistable memory or insulator behavior depending on the P3HT/POXD block ratio and the resulting morphology. The ITO/P3HT44 - b - POXD18/Al memory device shows a non-volatile switching characteristic with negative differential resistance (NDR) effect due to the charge trapped POXD block. These experimental results provide the new strategies for the design of donor-acceptor rod-coil block copolymers for controlling morphology and physical properties as well as advanced memory device applications. [source]

The Effect of Nanoparticle Shape on the Photocarrier Dynamics and Photovoltaic Device Performance of Poly(3-hexylthiophene):CdSe Nanoparticle Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells

Smita Dayal
Abstract The charge separation and transport dynamics in CdSe nanoparticle:poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) blends are reported as a function of the shape of the CdSe-nanoparticle electron acceptor (dot, rod, and tetrapod). For optimization of organic photovoltaic device performance it is crucial to understand the role of various nanostructures in the generation and transport of charge carriers. The sample processing conditions are carefully controlled to eliminate any processing-related effects on the carrier generation and on device performance with the aim of keeping the conjugated polymer phase constant and only varying the shape of the inorganic nanoparticle acceptor phase. The electrodeless, flash photolysis time-resolved microwave conductivity (FP-TRMC) technique is used and the results are compared to the efficiency of photovoltaic devices that incorporate the same active layer. It is observed that in nanorods and tetrapods blended with P3HT, the high aspect ratios provide a pathway for the electrons to move away from the dissociation site even in the absence of an applied electric field, resulting in enhanced carrier lifetimes that correlate to increased efficiencies in devices. The processing conditions that yield optimum performance in high aspect ratio CdSe nanoparticles blended with P3HT result in poorly performing quantum dot CdSe:P3HT devices, indicating that the latter devices are inherently limited by the absence of the dimensionality that allows for efficient, prolonged charge separation at the polymer:CdSe interface. [source]

The Origin of the High Voltage in DPM12/P3HT Organic Solar Cells

Antonio Snchez-Daz
Abstract Organic solar cells made using a blend of DPM12 and P3HT are studied. The results show that higher Voc can be obtained when using DPM12 in comparison to the usual mono-substituted PCBM electron acceptor. Moreover, better device performances are also registered when the cells are irradiated with sun-simulated light of 10,50 mW cm,2 intensity. Electrochemical and time-resolved spectroscopic measurements are compared for both devices and a 100-mV shift in the density of states (DOS) is observed for DPM12/P3HT devices with respect to PCBM/P3HT solar cells and slow polaron-recombination dynamics are found for the DPM12/P3HT devices. These observations can be directly correlated with the observed increase in Voc, which is in contrast with previous results that correlated the higher Voc with different ideality factors obtained using dark-diode measurements. The origin for the shift in the DOS can be correlated to the crystallinity of the blend that is influenced by the properties of the included fullerene. [source]

Stable Inverted Polymer/Fullerene Solar Cells Using a Cationic Polythiophene Modified PEDOT:PSS Cathodic Interface

David A. Rider
Abstract A cationic and water-soluble polythiophene [poly[3-(6-pyridiniumylhexyl)thiophene bromide] (P3PHT+Br,)] is synthesized and used in combination with anionic poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(p -styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), to produce hybrid coatings on indium tin oxide (ITO). Two coating strategies are established: i) electrostatic layer-by-layer assembly with colloidal suspensions of (PEDOT:PSS),, and ii) modification of an electrochemically prepared (PEDOT:PSS), film on ITO. The coatings are found to modify the work function of ITO such that it could act as a cathode in inverted 2,5-diyl-poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT)/[6,6]-phenyl-C61 -butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) polymer photovoltaic cells. The interfacial modifier created from the layer-by-layer assembly route is used to produce efficient inverted organic photovoltaic devices (power conversion efficiency ,2%) with significant long-term stability in excess of 500,h. [source]

Temperature-Resolved Local and Macroscopic Charge Carrier Transport in Thin P3HT Layers,

Patrick Pingel
Abstract Previous investigations of the field-effect mobility in poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) layers revealed a strong dependence on molecular weight (MW), which was shown to be closely related to layer morphology. Here, charge carrier mobilities of two P3HT MW fractions (medium-MW: Mn,=,7,200 g mol,1; high-MW: Mn,=,27,000 g mol,1) are probed as a function of temperature at a local and a macroscopic length scale, using pulse-radiolysis time-resolved microwave conductivity (PR-TRMC) and organic field-effect transistor measurements, respectively. In contrast to the macroscopic transport properties, the local intra-grain mobility depends only weakly on MW (being in the order of 10,2 cm2 V,1 s,1) and being thermally activated below the melting temperature for both fractions. The striking differences of charge transport at both length scales are related to the heterogeneity of the layer morphology. The quantitative analysis of temperature-dependent UV/Vis absorption spectra according to a model of F. C. Spano reveals that a substantial amount of disordered material is present in these P3HT layers. Moreover, the analysis predicts that aggregates in medium-MW P3HT undergo a "pre-melting" significantly below the actual melting temperature. The results suggest that macroscopic charge transport in samples of short-chain P3HT is strongly inhibited by the presence of disordered domains, while in high-MW P3HT the low-mobility disordered zones are bridged via inter-crystalline molecular connections. [source]

Spin- and Spray-Deposited Single-Walled Carbon-Nanotube Electrodes for Organic Solar Cells

Sungsoo Kim
Abstract Organic bulk-heterojunction solar cells using thin-film single-walled carbon-nanotube (SWCNT) anodes deposited on glass are reported. Two types of SWCNT films are investigated: spin-coated films from dichloroethane (DCE), and spray-coated films from deionized water using sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) or sodium dodecyl benzene sulphonate (SDBS) as the surfactant. All of the films are found to be mechanically robust, with no tendency to delaminate from the underlying substrate during handling. Acid treatment with HNO3 yields high conductivities >1000,S,cm,1 for all of the films, with values of up to 7694,,800,S,cm,1 being obtained when using SDS as the surfactant. Sheet resistances of around 100,,,sq,1 are obtained at reasonable transmission, for example, 128,,2,,,sq,1 at 90% for DCE, 57,,3,,,sq,1 at 65% for H2O:SDS, and 68,,5,,,sq,1 at 70% for H2O:SDBS. Solar cells are fabricated by successively coating the SWCNT films with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulphonate) (PEDOT:PSS), a blend of regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and 1-(3-methoxy-carbonyl)-propyl-1-phenyl-(6,6)C61 (PCBM), and LiF/Al. The resultant devices have respective power conversions of 2.3, 2.2 and 1.2% for DCE, H2O:SDS and H2O:SDBS, with the first two being at a virtual parity with reference devices using ITO-coated glass as the anode (2.3%). [source]

Annealing-Free High Efficiency and Large Area Polymer Solar Cells Fabricated by a Roller Painting Process

Jae Woong Jung
Abstract Polymer solar cells are fabricated by a novel solution coating process, roller painting. The roller-painted film , composed of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) , has a smoother surface than a spin-coated film. Since the roller painting is accompanied by shear and normal stresses and is also a slow drying process, the process effectively induces crystallization of P3HT and PCBM. Both crystalline P3HT and PCBM in the roller-painted active layer contribute to enhanced and balanced charge-carrier mobility. Consequently, the roller-painting process results in a higher power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 4.6%, as compared to that for spin coating (3.9%). Furthermore, annealing-free polymer solar cells (PSCs) with high PCE are fabricated by the roller painting process with the addition of a small amount of octanedi-1,8-thiol. Since the addition of octanedi-1,8-thiol induces phase separation between P3HT and PCBM and the roller-painting process induces crystallization of P3HT and PCBM, a PCE of roller-painted PSCs of up to 3.8% is achieved without post-annealing. A PCE of over 2.7% can also be achieved with 5,cm2 of active area without post-annealing. [source]

The Impact of Polymer Regioregularity on Charge Transport and Efficiency of P3HT:PCBM Photovoltaic Devices

Ralf Mauer
Abstract The charge transport in pristine poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) films and in photovoltaic blends of P3HT with [6,6]-phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) is investigated to study the influence of charge-carrier transport on photovoltaic efficiency. The field- and temperature dependence of the charge-carrier mobility in P3HT of three different regioregularities, namely, regiorandom, regioregular with medium regioregularity, and regioregular with very high regioregularity are investigated by the time-of-flight technique. While medium and very high regioregularity polymers show the typical absorption features of ordered lamellar structures of P3HT in the solid state even without previous annealing, films of regiorandom P3HT are very disordered as indicated by their broad and featureless absorption. This structural difference in the solid state coincides with partially non-dispersive transport and hole mobilities h of around 10,4 and 10,5,cm2 V,1 s,1 for the high and medium regioregularity P3HT, respectively, and a slow and dispersive charge transport for the regiorandom P3HT. Upon blending the regioregular polymers with PCBM, the hole mobilities are typically reduced by one order of magnitude, but they do not significantly change upon additional post-spincasting annealing. Only in the case of P3HT with high regioregularity are the electron mobilities similar to the hole mobilities and the charge transport is, thus, balanced. Nonetheless, devices prepared from both materials exhibit similar power conversion efficiencies of 2.5%, indicating that very high regioregularity may not substantially improve order and charge-carrier transport in P3HT:PCBM and does not lead to significant improvements in the power-conversion efficiency of photovoltaic devices. [source]

Optimization of Si NC/P3HT Hybrid Solar Cells

Chin-Yi Liu
Abstract Silicon nanocrystals (Si NCs) are shown to be an electron acceptor in hybrid solar cells combining Si NCs with poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT). The effects of annealing and different metal electrodes on Si NC/P3HT hybrid solar cells are studied in this paper. After annealing at 150,C, Si NC/P3HT solar cells exhibit power conversion efficiencies as high as 1.47%. The hole mobility in the P3HT phase extracted from space-charge-limited current measurements of hole-only devices increases from 2.48,,10,10 to 1.11,,10,9 m2 V,1 s,1 after annealing, resulting in better transport in the solar cells. A quenching of the open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current is observed when high work function metals are deposited as the cathode on Si NC/P3HT hybrid devices. [source]

Water-Soluble Polyfluorenes as an Interfacial Layer Leading to Cathode-Independent High Performance of Organic Solar Cells

Seung-Hwan Oh
Abstract Novel poly[(9,9-bis((6,-(N,N,N -trimethylammonium)hexyl)-2,7-fluorene)- alt -(9,9-bis(2-(2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethoxy)ethyl)-9-fluorene)) dibromide (WPF-6-oxy-F) and poly[(9,9-bis((6,-(N,N,N -trimethylammonium)hexyl)-2,7-fluorene)- alt -(9,9-bis(2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethyl)-fluorene)] dibromide (WPF-oxy-F) compounds are developed and the use of these water-soluble polymers as an interfacial layer for low-cost poly(3-hexylthiophene):phenyl-C61 butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT:PCBM) organic solar cells (OSCs) is investigated. When WPF-oxy-F or WPF-6-oxy-F is simply inserted between the active layer and the cathode as an interfacial dipole layer by spin-coating water-soluble polyfluorenes, the open-circuit voltage (Voc), fill factor (FF), and power-conversion efficiency (PCE) of photovoltaic cells with high work-function metal cathodes, such as Al, Ag, Au, and Cu, dramatically increases. For example, when WPF-6-oxy-F is used with Al, Ag, Au, or Cu, regardless of the work-function of the metal cathode, the Voc is 0.64, 0.64, 0.58, and 0.63,V, respectively, approaching the original value of the P3HT:PCBM system because of the formation of large interfacial dipoles through a reduction of the metal work-function. In particular, introducing WPF-6-oxy-F into a low-cost Cu cathode dramatically enhanced the device efficiency from 0.8% to 3.36%. [source]

Fabrication, Optical Modeling, and Color Characterization of Semitransparent Bulk-Heterojunction Organic Solar Cells in an Inverted Structure

Tayebeh Ameri
Abstract Semitransparent inverted organic photodiodes are fabricated with a Baytron PH500 ethylene-glycol layer/silver grid as the top electrode. Reasonable performances are obtained under both rear- and front-side illumination and efficiencies up to 2% are achieved. Some light is shed on visual prospects through optical simulations for a semitransparent device of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and the C60 derivative 1-(3-methoxycarbonyl)propyl-1-phenyl[6,6]C71 (PC70BM) in the inverted structure. These calculations allow the maximum efficiency achievable to be predicted for semitransparent cells based on P3HT:PC70BM versus the transparency perception for a human eye. The simulations suggest that low-bandgap materials such as poly[2,6-(4,4-bis-(2-ethylhexyl)-4H-cyclopenta[2,1-b;3,4-b,]dithiophene)-alt-4,7-(2,1,3-benzothiadiazole)] (PCPDTBT) have a better potential for semitransparent devices. In addition, the color range recognized by the human eye is predicted by the optical simulation for some semitransparent devices including different active layers. [source]

Template-Directed Liquid ALD Growth of TiO2 Nanotube Arrays: Properties and Potential in Photovoltaic Devices

Thelese R. B. Foong
Abstract Dense and well-aligned arrays of TiO2 nanotubes extending from various substrates are successfully fabricated via a new liquid-phase atomic layer deposition (LALD) in nanoporous anodic alumina (AAO) templates followed by alumina dissolution. The facile and versatile process circumvents the need for vacuum conditions critical in traditional gas-phase ALD and yet confers ALD-like deposition rates of 1.6,2.2, cycle,1, rendering smooth conformal nanotube walls that surpass those achievable by sol,gel and Ti-anodizing techniques. The nanotube dimensions can be tuned, with most robust structures being 150,400,nm tall, 60,70,nm in diameter with 5,20,nm thick walls. The viability of TiO2 nanotube arrays deposited on indium tin oxide (ITO),glass electrodes for application in model hybrid poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT):TiO2 solar cells is studied. The results achieved provide platforms and research directions for further advancements. [source]

P3HT/PCBM Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells: Impact of Blend Composition and 3D Morphology on Device Performance

Svetlana S. van Bavel
Abstract The performance of polymer solar cells (PSC) strongly depends on the 3D morphological organization of the donor and acceptor compounds within the bulk heterojunction active layer. The technique of electron tomography is a powerful tool for studying 3D morphology of the layers composed of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and a fullerene derivative ([6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester; PCBM), especially to quantify the amount and distribution of fibrillar P3HT nanocrystals throughout the volume of the active layer. In this study, electron tomography is used to characterize P3HT/PCBM layers with different blend compositions, both before and after thermal annealing. The power conversion efficiency of the corresponding PSCs is strongly dependent on the overall crystallinity of P3HT and the way P3HT crystals are distributed throughout the thickness of the active layer. [source]

Effect of Carbon Chain Length in the Substituent of PCBM-like Molecules on Their Photovoltaic Properties

Guangjin Zhao
Abstract A series of [6,6]-phenyl-C61 -butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM)-like fullerene derivatives with the butyl chain in PCBM changing from 3 to 7 carbon atoms, respectively (F1,F5), are designed and synthesized to investigate the relationship between photovoltaic properties and the molecular structure of fullerene derivative acceptors. F2 with a butyl chain is PCBM itself for comparison. Electrochemical, optical, electron mobility, morphology, and photovoltaic properties of the molecules are characterized, and the effect of the alkyl chain length on their properties is investigated. Although there is little difference in the absorption spectra and LUMO energy levels of F1,F5, an interesting effect of the alkyl chain length on the photovoltaic properties is observed. For the polymer solar cells (PSCs) based on P3HT as donor and F1,F5, respectively, as acceptors, the photovoltaic behavior of the P3HT/F1 and P3HT/F4 systems are similar to or a little better than that of the P3HT/PCBM device with power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) above 3.5%, while the performances of P3HT/F3 and P3HT/F5-based solar cells are poorer, with PCE values below 3.0%. The phenomenon is explained by the effect of the alkyl chain length on the absorption spectra, fluorescence quenching degree, electron mobility, and morphology of the P3HT/F1,F5 (1:1, w/w) blend films. [source]

Abrupt Morphology Change upon Thermal Annealing in Poly(3-Hexylthiophene)/Soluble Fullerene Blend Films for Polymer Solar Cells

Minjung Shin
Abstract The in situ morphology change upon thermal annealing in bulk heterojunction blend films of regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and 1-(3-methoxycarbonyl)-propyl-1-phenyl-(6,6)C61 (PCBM) is measured by a grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXD) method using a synchrotron radiation source. The results show that the film morphology,including the size and population of P3HT crystallites,abruptly changes at 140,C between 5 and 30,min and is then stable up to 120,min. This trend is almost in good agreement with the performance change of polymer solar cells fabricated under the same conditions. The certain morphology change after 5,min annealing at 140,C is assigned to the on-going thermal transition of P3HT molecules in the presence of PCBM transition. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy measurements show that the crack-like surface of blend films becomes smaller after a very short annealing time, but does not change further with increasing annealing time. These findings indicate that the stability of P3HT:PCBM solar cells cannot be secured by short-time annealing owing to the unsettled morphology, even though the resulting efficiency is high. [source]

Enhanced Thermal Stability and Efficiency of Polymer Bulk-Heterojunction Solar Cells by Low-Temperature Drying of the Active Layer

Ching Lin
Abstract This study addresses two key issues, stability and efficiency, of polymer solar cells based on blended poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) by demonstrating a film-forming process that involves low-temperature drying (,5,C) and subsequent annealing of the active layer. The low-temperature process achieves 4.70% power conversion efficiency (PCE) and ,1250,h storage half-life at 65,C, which are significant improvements over the 3.39% PCE and ,143,h half-life of the regular room-temperature process. The improvements are attributed to the enhanced nucleation of P3HT crystallites as well as the minimized separation of the P3HT and PCBM phases at the low drying temperature, which upon post-drying annealing results in a morphology consisting of small PCBM-rich domains interspersed within a densely interconnected P3HT crystal network. This morphology provides ample bulk-heterojunction area for charge generation while allowing for facile charge transport; moreover, the P3HT crystal network serves as an immobile frame at heating temperatures less than the melting point (Tm) of P3HT, thus preventing PCBM/P3HT phase separation and the corresponding device degradation. [source]

Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Nanorods with Aligned Chain Orientation for Organic Photovoltaics

Jong Soo Kim
Abstract A structured polymer solar cell architecture featuring a large interface between donor and acceptor with connecting paths to the respective electrodes is explored. To this end, poly-(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) nanorods oriented perpendicularly to indium tin oxide (ITO) glass are fabricated using an anodic aluminum oxide template. It is found that the P3HT chains in bulk films or nanorods are oriented differently; perpendicular or parallel to the ITO substrate, respectively. Such chain alignment of the P3HT nanorods enhanced the electrical conductivity up to tenfold compared with planar P3HT films. Furthermore, the donor/acceptor contact area could be maximised using P3HT nanorods as donor and C60 as acceptor. In a photovoltaic device employing this structure, remarkable photoluminescence quenching (88%) and a seven-fold efficiency increase (relative to a device with a planar bilayer) are achieved. [source]

Printed Sub-2 V Gel-Electrolyte-Gated Polymer Transistors and Circuits

Yu Xia
Abstract The fabrication and characterization of printed ion-gel-gated poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) transistors and integrated circuits is reported, with emphasis on demonstrating both function and performance at supply voltages below 2,V. The key to achieving fast sub-2,V operation is an unusual gel electrolyte based on an ionic liquid and a gelating block copolymer. This gel electrolyte serves as the gate dielectric and has both a short polarization response time (<1,ms) and a large specific capacitance (>10,F cm,2), which leads simultaneously to high output conductance (>2,mS mm,1), low threshold voltage (<1,V) and high inverter switching frequencies (1,10,kHz). Aerosol-jet-printed inverters, ring oscillators, NAND gates, and flip-flop circuits are demonstrated. The five-stage ring oscillator operates at frequencies up to 150,Hz, corresponding to a propagation delay of 0.7 ms per stage. These printed gel electrolyte gated circuits compare favorably with other reported printed circuits that often require much larger operating voltages. Materials factors influencing the performance of the devices are discussed. [source]

Solar Cell Blends: High-Resolution Spectroscopic Mapping of the Chemical Contrast from Nanometer Domains in P3HT:PCBM Organic Blend Films for Solar-Cell Applications (Adv. Funct.

The inside cover image presents a near-field spectroscopic map of a P3HT:PCBM solar cell blend film obtaining using a parabolic-mirror-assisted optical microscope. This technique allows for simultaneous recording of both morphological and spectroscopic information, and on page 492 Xiao Wang et al. use it to investigate local molecular distribution, photoluminescence quenching efficiency, and other key properties of the P3HT:PCBM blend film. [source]

High-Resolution Spectroscopic Mapping of the Chemical Contrast from Nanometer Domains in P3HT:PCBM Organic Blend Films for Solar-Cell Applications

Xiao Wang
Abstract A high-resolution near-field spectroscopic mapping technique is successfully applied to investigate the influence of thermal annealing on the morphology of a poly(3-hexylthiophene) and [6,6]-penyl-C61 butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT:PCBM) blend film. Based on the simultaneously recorded morphological and spectroscopic information, the interplay among the blend film morphology, the local P3HT:PCBM molecular distribution, and the P3HT photoluminescence (PL) quenching efficiency are systematically discussed. The PL and Raman signals of the electron donor (P3HT) and acceptor (PCBM) are probed at an optical resolution of approximately 10,nm, which allows the chemical nature of the different domains to be identified directly. In addition, the local PL quenching efficiency, which is related to the electron transfer from P3HT to PCBM, is quantitatively revealed. From these experimental results, it is proposed that high-resolution near-field spectroscopic imaging is capable of mapping the local chemical composition and photophysics of the P3HT:PCBM blends on a scale of a few nanometers. [source]

Polymer Field-Effect Transistors Fabricated by the Sequential Gravure Printing of Polythiophene, Two Insulator Layers, and a Metal Ink Gate

Monika M. Voigt
Abstract The mass production technique of gravure contact printing is used to fabricate state-of-the art polymer field-effect transistors (FETs). Using plastic substrates with prepatterned indium tin oxide source and drain contacts as required for display applications, four different layers are sequentially gravure-printed: the semiconductor poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT), two insulator layers, and an Ag gate. A crosslinkable insulator and an Ag ink are developed which are both printable and highly robust. Printing in ambient and using this bottom-contact/top-gate geometry, an on/off ratio of >104 and a mobility of 0.04,cm2 V,1 s,1 are achieved. This rivals the best top-gate polymer FETs fabricated with these materials. Printing using low concentration, low viscosity ink formulations, and different P3HT molecular weights is demonstrated. The printing speed of 40,m min,1 on a flexible polymer substrate demonstrates that very high-volume, reel-to-reel production of organic electronic devices is possible. [source]

Near IR Sensitization of Organic Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells: Towards Optimization of the Spectral Response of Organic Solar Cells

Markus Koppe
Abstract The spectroscopic response of a poly(3-hexylthiophene)/[6,6]-phenyl-C61 -butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT/PCBM)-based bulk heterojunction solar cell is extended into the near infrared region (NIR) of the spectrum by adding the low bandgap polymer poly[2,6-(4,4-bis-(2-ethylhexyl)-4H -cyclopenta[2,1- b;3,4- b]-dithiophene)- alt -4,7-(2,1,3-benzothiadiazole)] [PCPDTBT] to the blend. The dominant mechanism behind the enhanced photosensitivity of the ternary blend is found to be a two-step process: first, an ultrafast and efficient photoinduced charge transfer generates positive charges on P3HT and PCPDTBT and a negative charge on PCBM. In a second step, the positive charge on PCPDTBT is transferred to P3HT. Thus, P3HT serves two purposes. On the one hand it is involved in the generation of charge carriers by the photoinduced electron transfer to PCBM, and, on the other hand, it forms the charge transport matrix for the positive carriers transferred from PCPDTBT. Other mechanisms, such as energy transfer or photoinduced charge transfer directly between the two polymers, are found to be absent or negligible. [source]

Efficiency Enhancement in Organic Photovoltaic Cells: Consequences of Optimizing Series Resistance

Jonathan D. Servaites
Abstract Here, means to enhance power conversion efficiency (PCE or ,) in bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells by optimizing the series resistance (Rs),also known as the cell internal resistance,are studied. It is shown that current state-of-the-art BHJ OPVs are approaching the limit for which efficiency can be improved via Rs reduction alone. This evaluation addresses OPVs based on a poly(3-hexylthiophene):6,6-phenyl C61 -butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT:PCBM) active layer, as well as future high-efficiency OPVs (,,>,10%). A diode-based modeling approach is used to assess changes in Rs. Given that typical published P3HT:PCBM test cells have relatively small areas (,0.1,cm2), the analysis is extended to consider efficiency losses for larger area cells and shows that the transparent anode conductivity is then the dominant materials parameter affecting Rs efficiency losses. A model is developed that uses cell sizes and anode conductivities to predict current,voltage response as a function of resistive losses. The results show that the losses due to Rs remain minimal until relatively large cell areas (>0.1,cm2) are employed. Finally, Rs effects on a projected high-efficiency OPV scenario are assessed, based on the goal of cell efficiencies >10%. Here, Rs optimization effects remain modest; however, there are now more pronounced losses due to cell size, and it is shown how these losses can be mitigated by using higher conductivity anodes. [source]

Evaluating Carrier Accumulation in Degraded Bulk Heterojunction Organic Solar Cells by a Thermally Stimulated Current Technique

Kenji Kawano
Abstract Here, the initial photo-degradation of encapsulated P3HT:PCBM bulk heterojunction organic solar cells is investigated. The degraded device is recovered by thermal annealing treatment. Thermally stimulated current measurements reveal that the cause of photo-degradation is carrier accumulation and that the degraded organic solar cell has two broad trap levels, of 0.71 and 0.81,eV. These traps are independent of the thickness of the photoactive layers, the mixing ratio of the photoactive materials and the cathode materials. In addition, it is confirmed that there is a close relationship between the degree of degradation and the amount of accumulated charge carriers. [source]

Photo-induced Charge Transfer and Relaxation of Persistent Charge Carriers in Polymer/Nanocrystal Composites for Applications in Hybrid Solar Cells

Marc Daniel Heinemann
Abstract The photo-induced charge transfer and the dynamics of persistent charge carriers in blends of semiconducting polymers and nanocrystals are investigated. Regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) is used as the electron donor material, while the acceptor moiety is established by CdSe nanocrystals (nc-CdSe) prepared via colloidal synthesis. As a reference system, organic blends of P3HT and [6,6]-phenyl C61 -butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) are studied as well. The light-induced charge transfer between P3HT and the acceptor materials is studied by photoluminescence (PL), photo-induced absorption (PIA) and light-induced electron spin resonance spectroscopy (LESR). Compared to neat P3HT samples, both systems show an intensified formation of polarons in the polymer upon photo-excitation, pointing out successful separation of photogenerated charge carriers. Additionally, relaxation of the persistent charge carriers is investigated, and significant differences are found between the hybrid composite and the purely organic system. While relaxation, reflected in the transient signal decay of the polaron signal, is fast in the organic system, the hybrid blends exhibit long-term persistence. The appearance of a second, slow recombination channel indicates the existence of deep trap states in the hybrid system, which leads to the capture of a large fraction of charge carriers. A change of polymer conformation due to the presence of nc-CdSe is revealed by low temperature LESR measurements and microwave saturation techniques. The impact of the different recombination behavior on the photovoltaic efficiency of both systems is discussed. [source]

High-Performance Air-Processed Polymer,Fullerene Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells

Chang-Yong Nam
Abstract High photovoltaic device performance is demonstrated in ambient-air-processed bulk heterojunction solar cells having an active blend layer of organic poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT): [6,6]-phenyl-C61 -butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), with power conversion efficiencies as high as 4.1%, which is comparable to state-of-the-art bulk heterojunction devices fabricated in air-free environments. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy is combined with detailed analysis of electronic carrier transport in order to quantitatively understand the effects of oxygen exposure and different thermal treatments on electronic conduction through the highly nanostructured active blend network. Improvement in photovoltaic device performance by suitable post-fabrication thermal processing results from the reduced oxygen charge trap density in the active blend layer and is consistent with a corresponding slight increase in thickness of an ,4,nm aluminum oxide hole-blocking layer present at the electron-collecting contact interface. [source]

Effect of Alkyl Side-Chain Length on Photovoltaic Properties of Poly(3-alkylthiophene)/PCBM Bulk Heterojunctions

Abay Gadisa
Abstract The morphological, bipolar charge-carrier transport, and photovoltaic characteristics of poly(3-alkylthiophene) (P3AT):[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) blends are studied as a function of alkyl side-chain length m, where m equals the number of alkyl carbon atoms. The P3ATs studied are poly(3-butylthiophene) (P3BT, m,=,4), poly(3-pentylthiophene) (P3PT, m,=,5), and poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT, m,=,6). Solar cells with these blends deliver similar order of photo-current yield (exceeding 10,mA cm,2) irrespective of side-chain length. Power conversion efficiencies of 3.2, 4.3, and 4.6% are within reach using solar cells with active layers of P3BT:PCBM (1:0.8), P3PT:PCBM (1:1), and P3HT:PCBM (1:1), respectively. A difference in fill factor values is found to be the main source of efficiency difference. Morphological studies reveal an increase in the degree of phase separation with increasing alkyl chain length. Moreover, while P3PT:PCBM and P3HT:PCBM films have similar hole mobility, measured by hole-only diodes, the hole mobility in P3BT:PCBM lowers by nearly a factor of four. Bipolar measurements made by field-effect transistor showed a decrease in the hole mobility and an increase in the electron mobility with increasing alkyl chain length. Balanced charge transport is only achieved in the P3HT:PCBM blend. This, together with better processing properties, explains the superior properties of P3HT as a solar cell material. P3PT is proved to be a potentially competitive material. The optoelectronic and charge transport properties observed in the different P3AT:PCBM bulk heterojunction (BHJ) blends provide useful information for understanding the physics of BHJ films and the working principles of the corresponding solar cells. [source]

Photophysics and Photocurrent Generation in Polythiophene/Polyfluorene Copolymer Blends

Christopher R. McNeill
Abstract Here, studies on the evolution of photophysics and device performance with annealing of blends of poly(3-hexylthiophene) with the two polyfluorene copolymers poly((9,9-dioctylfluorene)-2,7-diyl-alt-[4,7-bis(3-hexylthien-5-yl)-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole]-2,,2,,-diyl) (F8TBT) and poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-benzothiadiazole) (F8BT) are reported. In blends with F8TBT, P3HT is found to reorganize at low annealing temperatures (100,C or below), evidenced by a redshift of both absorption and photoluminescence (PL), and by a decrease in PL lifetime. Annealing to 140,C, however, is found to optimize device performance, accompanied by an increase in PL efficiency and lifetime. Grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering is also performed to study the evolution in film nanomorphology with annealing, with the 140,C-annealed film showing enhanced phase separation. It is concluded that reorganization of P3HT alone is not sufficient to optimize device performance but must also be accompanied by a coarsening of the morphology to promote charge separation. The shape of the photocurrent action spectra of P3HT:F8TBT devices is also studied, aided by optical modeling of the absorption spectrum of the blend in a device structure. Changes in the shape of the photocurrent action spectra with annealing are observed, and these are attributed to changes in the relative contribution of each polymer to photocurrent as morphology and polymer conformation evolve. In particular, in as-spun films from xylene, photocurrent is preferentially generated from ordered P3HT segments attributed to the increased charge separation efficiency in ordered P3HT compared to disordered P3HT. For optimized devices, photocurrent is efficiently generated from both P3HT and F8TBT. In contrast to blends with F8TBT, P3HT is only found to reorganize in blends with F8BT at annealing temperatures of over 200,C. The low efficiency of the P3HT:F8BT system can then be attributed to poor charge generation and separation efficiencies that result from the failure of P3HT to reorganize. [source]

Three-Dimensional Bulk Heterojunction Morphology for Achieving High Internal Quantum Efficiency in Polymer Solar Cells

Jang Jo
Abstract Here, an investigation of three-dimensional (3D) morphologies for bulk heterojunction (BHJ) films based on regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and [6,6]-phenyl-C61 -butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) is reported. Based on the results, it is demonstrated that optimized post-treatment, such as solvent annealing, forces the PCBM molecules to migrate or diffuse toward the top surface of the BHJ composite films, which induces a new vertical component distribution favorable for enhancing the internal quantum efficiency (,IQE) of the devices. To investigate the 3D BHJ morphology, novel time-of-flight secondary-ion mass spectroscopy studies are employed along with conventional methods, such as UV-vis absorption, X-ray diffraction, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy studies. The ,IQE of the devices are also compared after solvent annealing for different times, which clearly shows the effect of the vertical component distribution on the performance of BHJ polymer solar cells. In addition, the fabrication of high-performance P3HT:PCBM solar cells using the optimized solvent-annealing method is reported, and these cells show a mean power-conversion efficiency of 4.12% under AM 1.5G illumination conditions at an intensity of 100,mW cm,2. [source]