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Structure-Property Relationships of Oligothiophene-Isoindigo Polymers for Efficient Bulk-Heterojunction Solar Cells  PDF

Article in journal
Zaifei Ma, Wenjun Sun, Scott Himmelberger, Koen Vandewal, Zheng Tang, Jonas Bergqvist, Alberto Salleo, Jens Wenzel Andreasen, Olle Inganäs, Mats R Andersson, Christian Müller, Fengling Zhang, Ergang Wang
Publication Year
energy and environmental science, 2014, (17)1, 361-369
Link to Source (DOI)
<p>A series of alternating oligothiophene (nT)-isoindigo (I) copolymers (PnTI) were synthesized to investigate the influence of the oligothiophene block length on the photovoltaic (PV) properties of PnTI:PCBM bulk-heterojunction blends. Our study indicates that the number of thiophene rings (n) in the repeating unit alters both, polymer crystallinity and polymer-fullerene interfacial energetics, which results in a decreasing open-circuit voltage (V<sub>oc</sub>) of the solar cells with increasing n. The short-circuit current density (J<sub>sc</sub>) of P1TI:PCBM devices is limited by the absence of a significant driving force for electron transfer. Instead, blends based on P5TI and P6TI feature large polymer domains, which limit charge generation and thus J<sub>sc</sub>. The best PV performance with a power conversion efficiency of up to 6.9% was achieved with devices based on P3TI, where a combination of favorable morphology and optimal interface energy level offset ensures efficient exciton separation and charge generation. The structure-property relationship demonstrated in this work is a valuable guideline for the design of high performance polymers with small energy losses during the charge generation process, allowing for the fabrication of efficient solar cells that combine a minimal loss in Voc with a high J<sub>sc</sub>.</p>