Tuning the properties of polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells by adjusting fullerene size to control intercalation

Nichole C. Cates, Roman Gysel, Zach Beiley, Chad E. Miller, Michael F. Toney, Martin Heeney, Lain McCulloch, Michael D. McGehee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

244 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that intercalation of fullerene derivatives between the side chains of conjugated polymers can be controlled by adjusting the fullerene size and compare the properties of intercalated and nonintercalated poly(2,5-bis(3-hexadecylthiophen-2-yl)thieno[3,2-b]thiophene (pBTTT):fullerene blends. The intercalated blends, which exhibit optimal solar-cell performance at 1:4 polymer:fullerene by weight, have better photoluminescence quenching and lower absorption than the nonintercalated blends, which optimize at 1:1. Understanding how intercalation affects performance will enable more effective design of polymer:fullerene solar cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4153-4157
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 9 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-01-09
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-015-21
Acknowledgements: This work was primarily supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering, under contract DE-AC02-76SF00515. C.E.M. was supported by the Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics (Award No KUS-C1-015-21), made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Additional funding was provided by the National Science Foundation (N.C.C.) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (R.G.). Portions of this research were carried out at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), a national user facility operated by Stanford University on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • General Materials Science


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