Investigation of nanoscale morphological changes in organic photovoltaics during solvent vapor annealing
Improvement of the photovoltaic efficiency via exposure of organic poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) devices to solvent vapor at room temperature is reported. In situ photoluminescence (PL) and Raman spectroscopy, in conjunction with ex situ optical absorption and atomic force microscopy, have been used to provide insight into the nanoscale morphological changes occurring during solvent vapor annealing. We found that in 1 : 1 composites of P3HT : PCBM, suppression of PL, narrowing in line-width of the 1442 cm−1 P3HT Raman peak, and strong modifications in the optical absorption spectra were observed during solvent vapor annealing, while minimal changes occurred in pure P3HT films. We attribute these spectral modifications to de-mixing of PCBM and subsequent stacking of P3HT in coplanar conjugated segments, similar to what is observed during thermal annealing.