Ultrafast Dynamics Group
Frédéric Laquai's Group

Bimolecular Crystals of Amorphous Polymer

Bimolecular Crystals of Amorphous Polymer:PCBM Intercalated Structure for Improving PPV-based Organic Photovoltaic Cells

Bimolecular Crystals of Amorphous Polymer:PCBM Intercalated Structure for Improving PPV-based Organic Photovoltaic Cells

K. Lim, J. Park, H. Mangold, F. Laquai, T. Choi, and T. Lee,
ChemSusChem 2014, 8 (2), 337-344.
K. Lim, J. Park, H. Mangold, F. Laquai, T. Choi, and T. Lee
Absorption, Electron transfer, Polymers, Thin films, X-ray diffraction
2014
​The exciton dissociation, recombination, and charge transport of bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs) is influenced strongly by the nanomorphology of the blend, such as the grain size and the molecular packing. Although it is well known that polymers based on amorphous poly(p-phenylenevinylene) (PPV) have a fundamental limit to their efficiency because of low carrier mobility, which leads to increased recombination and unbalanced charge extraction, herein, we demonstrate that the issue can be overcome by forming bimolecular crystals of an amorphous PPV-based polymer:phenyl-C61 -butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) intercalated structure. We used amorphous poly(2,5-dioctyloxy-p-phenylene vinylene-alt-2',5'-thienylene vinylene) (PPVTV), which has a simple chemical structure. A reasonably high power conversion efficiency (∼3.5 %) was obtained, although the material has an intrinsically amorphous structure and a relatively large band gap (2.0 eV). We demonstrate a correlation between a well-ordered bimolecular crystal of PPVTV:PCBM and an improved hole mobility of a PPVTV:PCBM film compared to a pristine PPVTV film by using 2 D grazing incidence XRD and space-charge-limited current measurements. Furthermore, we show that the bimolecular crystal structure in high-performance OPVs is related to an optimum molecular packing, which is influenced by the PPVTV:PCBM blending ratio, side-chain length, and molecular weight of the PPVTV polymer. Improved charge transport in PPVTV:PCBM bimolecular crystals leads to a fast sweep out of charges and thus suppression of nongeminate recombination under the operating conditions.