Solution structure: defining polymer film morphology and optoelectronic device performance

Wolfer, Pascal, Armin, Ardalan, Pivrikas, Almantas, Velusamy, Marappan, Burn, Paul L. and Meredith, Paul (2014) Solution structure: defining polymer film morphology and optoelectronic device performance. Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 2 1: 71-77. doi:10.1039/c3tc31812e

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Author Wolfer, Pascal
Armin, Ardalan
Pivrikas, Almantas
Velusamy, Marappan
Burn, Paul L.
Meredith, Paul
Title Solution structure: defining polymer film morphology and optoelectronic device performance
Journal name Journal of Materials Chemistry C   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2050-7534
Publication date 2014-01-07
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1039/c3tc31812e
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 2
Issue 1
Start page 71
End page 77
Total pages 7
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher RSC
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Film structure plays a critical role in defining the performance of all organic optoelectronic devices, with the importance clearly illustrated in the development of organic acceptor-donor bulk heterojunction (BHJ) photovoltaic (OPV) devices where solvent and/or thermal annealing of the deposited active layer affect solar cell output. Herein we report that the polymer-polymer interactions in solution, which are dependent on the thermal history of the solution, are a first order parameter in controlling the properties of the final active layer and hence device performance. We illustrate the key role played by organic semiconductor interactions in solution with the high efficiency donor-acceptor co-polymer, poly[N-9′′-heptadecanyl-2,7-carbazole-alt-5,5-(4′,7′-di-2-thienyl-2′,1′,3′- benzothiadiazole)] (PCDTBT), and its blends with [6,6]-phenyl C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM). Differences in the cooling rate of the casting solution after dissolution can lead to a 20% variation in the ultimate efficiency of cells with identical active layer thicknesses with slow-cooled solutions giving rise to poorer devices. The oft-ignored intermolecular (polymer-polymer) interactions that occur in solution are manifest by dramatic differences in viscosity and are a function of concentration and molecular weight. Hence solution thermal history represents a critical new dimension in the processing landscape for organic polymer semiconductors.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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