Reconciling models of interfacial state kinetics and device performance in organic solar cells: impact of the energy offsets on the power conversion efficiency†
Achieving the simultaneous increases in the open circuit voltage (Voc), short circuit current (Jsc) and fill factor (FF) necessary to further increase the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of organic photovoltaics (OPV) requires a unified understanding of how molecular and device parameters affect all three characteristics. In this contribution, we introduce a framework that for the first time combines different models that have been used separately to describe the different steps of the charge generation and collection processes in OPV devices: a semi-classical rate model for charge recombination processes in OPV devices, zero-dimensional kinetic models for the photogeneration process and exciton dissociation and one-dimensional semiconductor device models. Using this unified multi-scale model in conjunction with experimental techniques (time-resolved absorption spectroscopy, steady-state and transient optoelectronic measurements) that probe the various steps involved in charge generation we can shed light on how the energy offsets in a series of polymer: non-fullerene devices affect the charge carrier generation, collection, and recombination properties of the devices. We find that changing the energy levels of the donor significantly affects not only the transition rates between local-exciton (LE) and charge-transfer (CT) states, but also significantly changes the transition rates between CT and charge-separated (CS) states, challenging the commonly accepted picture of charge generation and recombination. These results show that in order to obtain an accurate picture of charge generation in OPV devices, a variety of different experimental techniques under different conditions in conjunction with a comprehensive model of processes occurring at different time-scales are required.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Open Access Articles