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Issue 15, 2013
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Enhanced thermal stability of organic solar cells by using photolinkable end-capped polythiophenes

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Abstract

The use of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) end-capped with anthracene (P3HT-A) in a blend with [6,6]-phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) is demonstrated to physically stabilize bulk-heterojunction photovoltaic solar cells. Bulk heterojunction-based devices are known to undergo phase separation of donor and acceptor materials during operation resulting in the formation of large (μm scale) PCBM crystals that dramatically decrease the photovoltaic characteristics of the cell. By way of a facile UV-curing step, the P3HT-A chain most likely reacts with PCBM fullerene via a [2+2] cyclo-addition to stabilize the blend. Photovoltaic devices based on P3HT-A and PCBM have been optimised in terms of thermal annealing to obtain initial devices to determine the UV-curing protocols. UV-exposure was found to improve device stability while simultaneously having a minimal effect on device efficiency. Optical microscopy demonstrates that the few reactions of P3HT-A with PCBM are efficient enough to prevent the formation of micro-sized PCBM crystals responsible for the failure of solar cells.

Graphical abstract: Enhanced thermal stability of organic solar cells by using photolinkable end-capped polythiophenes

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Article information


Submitted
01 Apr 2013
Accepted
08 May 2013
First published
09 May 2013

Polym. Chem., 2013,4, 4145-4150
Article type
Paper

Enhanced thermal stability of organic solar cells by using photolinkable end-capped polythiophenes

S. Khiev, L. Derue, G. Ayenew, H. Medlej, R. Brown, L. Rubatat, R. C. Hiorns, G. Wantz and C. Dagron-Lartigau, Polym. Chem., 2013, 4, 4145
DOI: 10.1039/C3PY00423F

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