Correlation between polymer structure and polymer

fullerene blend morphology and its implications for high performance polymer solar cells

Seon Kyoung Son, Youn Su Kim, Hae Jung Son, Min Jae Ko, Honggon Kim, Doh Kwon Lee, Jin Young Kim, Dong Hoon Choi, Kyungkon Kim, Bongsoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We synthesized four polymers (pT3DPP-HD, pT3DPP-OD, pT2TTDPP-HD, and pT2TTDPP-OD) and characterized their photovoltaic properties as a function of the backbone planarity, alkyl side chain length, and film morphology. The polymers were donor-acceptor type low-band-gap (1.2-1.3 eV) polymers employing terthiophene (T3) or thiophene-thieno[3,2-b]thiophene-thiophene (T2TT) as the donor and 2,5-bis(2-hexyldecyl)pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-(2H,5H)-dione (DPP-HD) or 2,5-bis(2-octyldodecyl)pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-(2H,5H)-dione (DPP-OD) as the acceptor. The T2TT moiety in the polymer backbone is more planar than the T3; the OD moiety as the alkyl side chain ensured a higher solubility than the HD moiety. Polymer solar cells (PSCs) were fabricated, and their properties were characterized. The photoactive layer consisted of one of the four polymers and one of the fullerene derivatives (PC70BM or PC60BM). For a given fullerene derivative, the PCEs prepared with each of the four polymers were ordered according to pT3DPP-OD, pT2TTDPP-HD, pT3DPP-HD, and pT2TTDPP-OD. Studies on the morphologies of the polymer:fullerene layers revealed that the pT3DPP-OD:PC70BM blend exhibited an optimal degree of phase separation between the polymer and the fullerene, while retaining a high degree of interconnectivity, thereby yielding the highest PCE measured in this series. By contrast, the pT2TTDPP-OD:fullerene yielded the lowest PCE because of too high crystalline fibrous polymer domains. In conclusion, we demonstrate that minute variations in the polymer chemical structure strongly affects both (i) the nanoscale miscibility between the polymers and fullerenes and (ii) the interconnectivity of the polymer chains, and these properties are tightly correlated with the solar cell performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2237-2244
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Volume118
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb 6

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Fullerenes
Polymer blends
fullerenes
Polymers
solar cells
polymers
Thiophenes
Thiophene
thiophenes
Pyrroles
Dione
pyrroles
Polymer solar cells
Solubility
solubility
Derivatives
Chain length
Phase separation
retaining
Solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Energy(all)

Cite this

Correlation between polymer structure and polymer : fullerene blend morphology and its implications for high performance polymer solar cells. / Son, Seon Kyoung; Kim, Youn Su; Son, Hae Jung; Ko, Min Jae; Kim, Honggon; Lee, Doh Kwon; Kim, Jin Young; Choi, Dong Hoon; Kim, Kyungkon; Kim, Bongsoo.

In: Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol. 118, No. 5, 06.02.2014, p. 2237-2244.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Son, Seon Kyoung ; Kim, Youn Su ; Son, Hae Jung ; Ko, Min Jae ; Kim, Honggon ; Lee, Doh Kwon ; Kim, Jin Young ; Choi, Dong Hoon ; Kim, Kyungkon ; Kim, Bongsoo. / Correlation between polymer structure and polymer : fullerene blend morphology and its implications for high performance polymer solar cells. In: Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 2014 ; Vol. 118, No. 5. pp. 2237-2244.
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AU - Son, Hae Jung

AU - Ko, Min Jae

AU - Kim, Honggon

AU - Lee, Doh Kwon

AU - Kim, Jin Young

AU - Choi, Dong Hoon

AU - Kim, Kyungkon

AU - Kim, Bongsoo

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N2 - We synthesized four polymers (pT3DPP-HD, pT3DPP-OD, pT2TTDPP-HD, and pT2TTDPP-OD) and characterized their photovoltaic properties as a function of the backbone planarity, alkyl side chain length, and film morphology. The polymers were donor-acceptor type low-band-gap (1.2-1.3 eV) polymers employing terthiophene (T3) or thiophene-thieno[3,2-b]thiophene-thiophene (T2TT) as the donor and 2,5-bis(2-hexyldecyl)pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-(2H,5H)-dione (DPP-HD) or 2,5-bis(2-octyldodecyl)pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-(2H,5H)-dione (DPP-OD) as the acceptor. The T2TT moiety in the polymer backbone is more planar than the T3; the OD moiety as the alkyl side chain ensured a higher solubility than the HD moiety. Polymer solar cells (PSCs) were fabricated, and their properties were characterized. The photoactive layer consisted of one of the four polymers and one of the fullerene derivatives (PC70BM or PC60BM). For a given fullerene derivative, the PCEs prepared with each of the four polymers were ordered according to pT3DPP-OD, pT2TTDPP-HD, pT3DPP-HD, and pT2TTDPP-OD. Studies on the morphologies of the polymer:fullerene layers revealed that the pT3DPP-OD:PC70BM blend exhibited an optimal degree of phase separation between the polymer and the fullerene, while retaining a high degree of interconnectivity, thereby yielding the highest PCE measured in this series. By contrast, the pT2TTDPP-OD:fullerene yielded the lowest PCE because of too high crystalline fibrous polymer domains. In conclusion, we demonstrate that minute variations in the polymer chemical structure strongly affects both (i) the nanoscale miscibility between the polymers and fullerenes and (ii) the interconnectivity of the polymer chains, and these properties are tightly correlated with the solar cell performance.

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