Real-Time Study on Structure Formation and the Intercalation Process of Polymer: Fullerene Bulk Heterojunction Thin Films

T. Kassar, M. Berlinghof, N.S. Güldal, T. Schmutzler, F. Zontone, M. Brandl, E. Metwalli, J. Will, N. Li, T. Ameri, C.J. Brabec, T. Unruh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Fullerene intercalation between the side chains of conjugated polymers has a detrimental impact on both charge separation and charge transport processes in bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs). In situ grazing incidence X-ray scattering experiments allow to characterize the structure formation, drying kinetics, and intercalation in blends of phenyl-c61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC60BM) and poly(2,5-bis(3-tetradecylthiophen-2-yl)thieno[3,2-b]thiophene) named (pBTTT-C14) from their 1,2-orthodichlorobenzene (oDCB) solutions with different volume fractions of dodecanoic acid methyl ester (Me12) as a solvent additive. The structure formation process during evaporation of the solvent:additive mixture can be described by five periods, which are correlated to a multistep contraction of the lamellar stacking of the bimolecular crystals. The onset of crystallization is delayed by increasing the additive volume fraction in the coating solution leading to a promoted crystallinity. A conclusive picture of fullerene intercalation and additive-tuned structural evolution during the drying of thin films of the polymer:fullerene BHJ blends will be presented. © 2020 The Authors. Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Original languageEnglish
Article number1900508
JournalSolar RRL
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jan 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Additives
  • Butyric acid
  • Conjugated polymers
  • Crystal structure
  • Crystallinity
  • Esters
  • Fatty acids
  • Fullerenes
  • Heterojunctions
  • Intercalation
  • Organic solar cells
  • Photoelectrochemical cells
  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Polymer blends
  • Polymer films
  • Volume fraction
  • X ray scattering
  • Bulk heterojunction
  • Bulk heterojunction (BHJ)
  • Charge transport process
  • Grazing-incidence x-ray scattering
  • Intercalation process
  • Organic photovoltaic cell (OPVs)
  • Structural evolution
  • Structure formations
  • Thin films


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