Modular construction of P3HT/PCBM planar-heterojunction solar cells by lamination allows elucidation of processing-structure-function relationships

Jong Bok Kim, Ze Lei Guan, Stephanie Lee, Eleni Pavlopoulou, Michael F. Toney, Antoine Kahn, Yueh Lin Loo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Contrary to polymer solar cells with bulk-heterojunction active layers, devices with planar-heterojunction active layers allow the decoupling of active layer phase separation from constituent crystallization, and their relative influence on device performance. We fabricated planar-heterojunction devices by first processing the electron donor and electron acceptor in isolation; they were subsequently laminated across the donor-acceptor interface to establish electrical contact. Thermal annealing was intentionally avoided after lamination to maintain the pristine charge transfer interface. Lamination thus obviates the need for solvent orthogonality; more importantly, it provides independent process tuning of individual organic semiconductor layers, ultimately allowing control over constituent structural development. We found the short-circuit current density of planar-heterojunction solar cells comprising poly(3-hexyl thiophene), P3HT, and [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester, PCBM, as the electron donor and acceptor, respectively, to be generally independent of the annealing history of P3HT. On the contrary, thermal annealing PCBM prior to lamination mainly led to a reduction in short-circuit current density. This deterioration is correlated with the development of preferentially oriented PCBM crystals that hinders electron transport in the vertical direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1963-1972
Number of pages10
JournalOrganic Electronics
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Keywords

  • Crystallinity
  • P3HT and PCBM
  • Planar-heterojunction
  • Polymer solar cells
  • Surface morphology

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