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Melt-processing of small molecule organic photovoltaics via bulk heterojunction compatibilization

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Abstract

Melt-processing of organic semiconductors (OSCs) is a promising environmentally-friendly technique that can alleviate dependence on toxic chlorinated solvents. While melt-processed single-component OSC devices (e.g. field-effect-transistors) have been demonstrated, multi-component bulk heterojunctions (BHJs) for organic photovoltaics (OPVs) remain a challenge. Herein, we demonstrate a strategy that affords tunable BHJ phase segregation and domain sizes from a single-phase homogeneous melt by employing strongly-crystalline small-molecule OSCs together with a customized molecular compatibilizing (MCP) additive. An optimized photoactive BHJ with 50 wt% MCP achieved a device power conversion efficiency of ca. 1% after melting the active layer at 240 °C (15 min, followed by slow cooling) before deposition of the top electrode. BHJ morphology characterization using atomic force and Kelvin probe microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and photo-luminescence measurements further demonstrate the trade-off between free charge generation and transport with respect to MCP loading in the BHJ. In addition, a functional OPV was also obtained from the melt-processing of dispersed micron-sized solid BHJ particles into a smooth and homogeneous thin-film by using the MCP approach. These results demonstrate that molecular compatibilization is a key prerequisite for further developments towards true solvent-free melt-processed BHJ OPV systems.

Graphical abstract: Melt-processing of small molecule organic photovoltaics via bulk heterojunction compatibilization

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Jan 2018, accepted on 13 Mar 2018 and first published on 17 Apr 2018


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8GC00335A
Citation: Green Chem., 2018, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Melt-processing of small molecule organic photovoltaics via bulk heterojunction compatibilization

    A. Rahmanudin, L. Yao, X. A. Jeanbourquin, Y. Liu, A. Sekar, E. Ripaud and K. Sivula, Green Chem., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8GC00335A

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