Fullerene crystallisation as a key driver of charge separation in polymer/fullerene bulk heterojunction solar cells

Fiona C. Jamieson, Ester Buchaca Domingo, Thomas McCarthy-Ward, Martin Heeney, Natalie Stingelin, James R. Durrant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

414 Scopus citations

Abstract

Solution processed polymer/fullerene blend films are receiving extensive attention as the photoactive layer of organic solar cells. In this paper we report a range of photophysical, electrochemical, physicochemical and structural data which provide evidence that formation of a relatively pure, molecularly ordered phase of the fullerene component, phenyl-C 61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), may be the key factor driving the spatial separation of photogenerated electrons and holes in many of these devices. PCBM crystallisation is shown to result in an increase in its electron affinity, providing an energetic driving force for spatial separation of electrons and holes. Based upon our observations, we propose a functional model applicable to many organic bulk heterojunction devices based upon charge generation in a finely intermixed polymer/fullerene phase followed by spatial separation of electrons and holes at the interface of this mixed phase with crystalline PCBM domains. This model has significant implications for the design of alternative acceptor materials to PCBM for organic solar cells. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-492
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Science
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-02-14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry

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