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Issue 20, 2018
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[60]PCBM single crystals: remarkably enhanced band-like charge transport, broadband UV-visible-NIR photo-responsivity and improved long-term air-stability

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Abstract

We report the charge transport mechanism, long-term stability and UV-visible-NIR photo-responsivity of single crystals of [60]PCBM (phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester) – a dominant acceptor material in organic photovoltaics. Despite [60]PCBM's paramount role in such devices, its intrinsic properties are largely unknown because it forms highly disordered solution-processed films, the electron transport mechanism remains ill-defined, and the long-term stability is poor – posing a major bottleneck for advancing cell efficiency and stability. We employed a liquid–liquid interfacial precipitation strategy to grow single crystals of [60]PCBM, which allowed us to experimentally elucidate its electron transport properties, long-term stability and photo-responsivity. Temperature-dependent mobility studies enabled us to reveal its charge transport mechanism. Promisingly, [60]PCBM single crystals were found to exhibit a more favorable band-like charge transport mechanism at room temperature and present electron mobility exceeding that of their thin-film counterparts by two orders of magnitude. Photodetectors based on single crystals show broadband photo-responsivity from the UV and visible to NIR regions. Long-term stability tests showed that the performance of devices based on single crystals remained 80% after 480-hour aging, whereas the performance of thin film devices dropped by over 80% under the same conditions. Our findings underscore single crystals as a key strategy to achieve breakthroughs in highly efficient and stable devices.

Graphical abstract: [60]PCBM single crystals: remarkably enhanced band-like charge transport, broadband UV-visible-NIR photo-responsivity and improved long-term air-stability

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
20 Feb 2018
Accepted
30 Apr 2018
First published
03 May 2018

J. Mater. Chem. C, 2018,6, 5489-5496
Article type
Paper

[60]PCBM single crystals: remarkably enhanced band-like charge transport, broadband UV-visible-NIR photo-responsivity and improved long-term air-stability

X. Zhao, T. Liu, X. Hou, Z. Liu, W. Shi and T. J. S. Dennis, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2018, 6, 5489
DOI: 10.1039/C8TC00867A

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