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Morphology of polymer blends in films made by dip-coating
Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences. (Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences)
Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences. (Materialvetenskap)
Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science, Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering. (Materialvetenskap)
Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences. (Materialvetenskap)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0995-3823
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2011 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Thin spincoated polymer films are used in various applications and there has been anincreasing demand to understand and get precise control over the film formation process. One of the most exciting applications is organic solar cells which have an active layer made of a polymer based blend. The film morphology has a strong effect on the efficiency of solar cells and therefore it is crucial to understand the film formation process in order to tailor thedesired morphology [1].

In this study we are combining and comparing results from three different deposition processes: drop-casting, sphere-on-flat arrangement and dip-coating. We are using dip-coating to produce thin films of polymer blends with different morphologies under controlled conditions. The main goal is to gain a deeper insight into the processes that occur while solvent evaporates and to understand why certain structures are formed.

Drop-casting allows for little control of the structure formation. In the sphere-on-flat arrangement a droplet of a solution is constrained between a half-sphere and the substrate, which provides more controllable conditions for the deposition process. For more precise control, dip-coating can be used, where a substrate is withdrawn from a solution at a constant speed.

In this study we have used the polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and the fullerene derivative [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) dissolved in toluene. These components are the model system for studies on organic solar cells [1]. The dip-coated films show a wide variety of morphologies depending on the coating speed. This dependence can be rationalized by the different mechanisms occurring at low and high speeds: At low speeds, evaporation is dominant, [2] resulting in well ordered patterns. At high speeds, viscous forces become dominant, [2] yielding optically homogeneous films.

[1] G. Dennler, M. C. Scharber, C. J. Brabec, Adv. Mat. 21, 1323-1338 (2009)

[2] R. Z. Rogowski and A. A. Darhuber, Langmuir 26, 11485-93 (2010)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
National Category
Physical Chemistry
Research subject
Chemistry; Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-12329OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-12329DiVA: diva2:510569
Conference
Soft and hard materials : A symposium on surface and materials chemistry. Lund, Sweden, October 25-27, 2011
Available from: 2012-03-16 Created: 2012-03-16 Last updated: 2014-09-10Bibliographically approved

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Heidkamp, HannahRogowski, RafalDzwilewski, Andrzejvan Stam, JanMoons, EllenCarlsson, Gunilla
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