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Engineering Two-Phase and Three-Phase Microstructures from Water-Based Dispersions of Nanoparticles for Eco-Friendly Polymer Solar Cell Applications
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Physics (from 2013). University of Newcastle, Australia.
University of Newcastle, Australia.
University of Bath, United Kingdom.
University of Newcastle, Australia.
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2018 (English)In: Chemistry of Materials, ISSN 0897-4756, E-ISSN 1520-5002, Vol. 30, no 18, p. 6521-6531Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nanoparticle organic photovoltaics, a subfield of organic photovoltaics (OPV), has attracted increasing interest in recent years due to the eco-friendly fabrication of solar modules afforded by colloidal ink technology. Importantly, using this approach it is now possible to engineer the microstructure of the light absorbing/charge generating layer of organic photovoltaics; decoupling film morphology from film deposition. In this study, single-component nanoparticles of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and phenyl-C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PC61BM) were synthesized and used to generate a two-phase microstructure with control over domain size prior to film deposition. Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) and electron microscopy were used to characterize the thin film morphology. Uniquely, the measured microstructure was a direct input for a nanoscopic kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) model allowing us to assess exciton transport properties that are experimentally inaccessible in these single-component particles. Photoluminescence, UV-vis spectroscopy measurements, and KMC results of the nanoparticle thin films enabled the calculation of an experimental exciton dissociation efficiency (ηED) of 37% for the two-phase microstructure. The glass transition temperature (Tg) of the materials was characterized with dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) and thermal annealing led to an increase in ηED to 64% due to an increase in donor-acceptor interfaces in the thin film from both sintering of neighboring opposite-type particles in addition to the generation of a third mixed phase from diffusion of PC61BM into amorphous P3HT domains. As such, this study demonstrates the higher level of control over donor-acceptor film morphology enabled by customizing nanoparticulate colloidal inks, where the optimal three-phase film morphology for an OPV photoactive layer can be designed and engineered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Chemical Society (ACS), 2018. Vol. 30, no 18, p. 6521-6531
Keywords [en]
Amorphous films, Amorphous materials, Butyric acid, Cell engineering, Colloids, Deposition, Environmental protection, Excitons, Glass transition, Morphology, Nanoparticles, Polymer solar cells, Scanning electron microscopy, Sintering, Solar cells, Solar power generation, Synthesis (chemical), Thermoanalysis, Thin films, Ultraviolet visible spectroscopy, D. dynamic mechanical thermal analyses (DMTA), Donor-acceptor interfaces, Kinetic Monte Carlo modeling, Scanning transmission x ray microscopy, Solar-cell applications, Three phase microstructure, Two-phase microstructures, Water based dispersion, Microstructure
National Category
Physical Sciences Chemical Sciences
Research subject
Physics; Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69365DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b03222ISI: 000445972100036Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85052858083OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-69365DiVA, id: diva2:1250107
Available from: 2018-09-21 Created: 2018-09-21 Last updated: 2018-10-24Bibliographically approved

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van Stam, JanMoons, Ellen

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