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Issue 35, 2015
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Cooperative assembly of an active layer utilizing the synergistic effect of a functional fullerene triad as an acceptor for efficient P3HT-based PSCs

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Abstract

We report the cooperative assembly of the fullerene-styrene cyano-(octyloxy)benzene triad (PCBB-CN-C8) and poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) to form an active layer of polymer solar cells (PSCs) with a well-defined microstructure and an enhanced stability of morphology. A favorable synergistic effect of the three functional moieties (C60, styrene cyano and tri(octyloxy) chains) in PCBB-CN-C8 can not only induce P3HT to assemble into long-range ordered periodic fibrils giving an interpenetrating network but also can form PCBB-CN-C8 crystallized domains without the need for external treatment. The characterization of the microstructure and morphology of P3HT:PCBB-CN-C8 blend films by two-dimensional grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy reveals that the P3HT fibrils possess a highly crystallized lamellar phase, and the spacing of the periodic P3HT fibrils is approximately 10 nm depending on the PCBB-CN-C8 crystallites, which fill in the P3HT interpenetrating network. Bulk heterojunction PSCs based on P3HT:PCBB-CN-C8 exhibit an improved open-circuit voltage and an excellent power conversion efficiency of 4.20%, which is greater than that of control PSCs based on P3HT:PCBB-C8 and the devices based on P3HT:PCBM with thermal annealing. We believe that the cooperative assembly of the active layer using the synergistic effect of the fullerene triad is a general approach that can be used to develop external treatment-free technology and improve the morphological stability of the active layer and photovoltaic performance.

Graphical abstract: Cooperative assembly of an active layer utilizing the synergistic effect of a functional fullerene triad as an acceptor for efficient P3HT-based PSCs

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 May 2015, accepted on 06 Jul 2015 and first published on 07 Jul 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5TA03801D
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Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015,3, 17991-18000

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    Cooperative assembly of an active layer utilizing the synergistic effect of a functional fullerene triad as an acceptor for efficient P3HT-based PSCs

    Y. Zhao, G. Xu, X. Guo, Y. Xia, C. Cui, M. Zhang, B. Song, Y. Li and Y. Li, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015, 3, 17991
    DOI: 10.1039/C5TA03801D

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