Crystallization of Sensitizers Controls Morphology and Performance in Si-/C-PCPDTBT-Sensitized P3HT:ICBA Ternary Blends

X. Du, X. Jiao, S. Rechberger, J.D. Perea, M. Meyer, N. Kazerouni, E. Spiecker, H. Ade, C.J. Brabec, R.H. Fink, T. Ameri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Organic solar cells based on multinary components are promising to further boost the device performance. The complex interplay of the morphology and functionality needs further investigations. Here, we report on a systematic study on the morphology evolution of prototype ternary systems upon adding sensitizers featuring similar chemical structures but dramatically different crystallinity, namely poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and indene-C60-bis-adduct (ICBA) blends with poly[(4,4′-bis(2-ethylhexyl)dithieno[3,2-b:2′,3′-d]silole)-2,6-diyl-alt-(4,7-bis(2-thienyl)-2,1,3-benzothiadi-azole)-5,5′-diyl] (Si-PCPDTBT) and poly[2,6-(4,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl)-4H-cyclopenta[2,1-b;3,4-b′]-dithiophene)-alt-4,7-(2,1,3-benzothiadiazole)] (C-PCPDTBT), employing energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) and resonant soft X-ray scattering (RSoXS). In addition, a combined density functional theory (DFT) and artificial neuronal network (ANN) computational approach has been utilized to calculate the solubility parameters and Flory-Huggins intermolecular parameters to evaluate the influence of miscibility on the final morphology. Our experiments reveal that the domain spacing and purity of ICBA-rich domains are retained in Si-PCPDTBT-based systems but are strongly reduced in C-PCPDTBT-based ternary systems. The P3HT fiber structure are retained at low sensitizer content but dramatically reduced at high sensitizer content. The theoretical calculations reveal very similar miscibility/compatibility between the two sensitizers and ICBA as well as P3HT. Thus, we conclude that mainly the crystallization of Si-PCPDTBT drives the nanostructure evolution in the ternary systems, while this driving force is absent in C-PCPDTBT-based ternary blends. © 2017 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2415-2423
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Computation theory
  • Deep neural networks
  • High resolution transmission electron microscopy
  • Morphology
  • Neurons
  • Organic solar cells
  • Silicon
  • Solar cells
  • Solubility
  • Ternary systems
  • Transmission electron microscopy
  • X ray scattering
  • 2
  • 1
  • 3-Benzothiadiazole
  • Artificial neuronal network
  • Computational approach
  • Energy filtered transmission electron microscopy
  • Morphology evolution
  • Poly-3-hexylthiophene
  • Solubility parameters
  • Theoretical calculations
  • Density functional theory


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