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Issue 17, 2013
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Correlation of polymeric compatibilizer structure to its impact on the morphology and function of P3HT:PCBM bulk heterojunctions

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Abstract

The impact of various polymeric compatibilizers, including end-functionalized P3HTs and diblock copolymers containing P3HT, on the structure and function of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT):[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) bulk heterojunctions is presented. Careful analyses of small angle neutron scattering curves provide a measure of the miscibility of PCBM in P3HT, the average PCBM domain size, and the interfacial area between PCBM and the P3HT-rich phase in the uncompatibilized and compatibilized systems. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) also provides information regarding the changes in the crystallinity of P3HT due to the presence of the compatibilizer. Results show that most compatibilizers cause the domain sizes to decrease and the P3HT crystallinity to increase; however, some cause an increase in domain size, suggesting that they are not effective interfacial modifiers. The correlation of morphology with photovoltaic activity shows that the decreased domain size, increased crystallinity and increased interfacial area do not always result in improved power conversion efficiency (PCE). It appears that the introduction of an insulating molecule at the PCBM:P3HT interface as a compatibilizer results in a decrease in PCE. Thus, the presence of the compatibilizer at this interface dominates the photovoltaic activity, rather than the morphological control.

Graphical abstract: Correlation of polymeric compatibilizer structure to its impact on the morphology and function of P3HT:PCBM bulk heterojunctions

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Jan 2013, accepted on 22 Feb 2013 and first published on 25 Feb 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3TA10386B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2013,1, 5309-5319
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    Correlation of polymeric compatibilizer structure to its impact on the morphology and function of P3HT:PCBM bulk heterojunctions

    H. Chen, J. Chen, W. Yin, X. Yu, M. Shao, K. Xiao, K. Hong, D. L. Pickel, W. M. Kochemba, S. M. Kilbey II and M. Dadmun, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2013, 1, 5309
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TA10386B

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