Energetic barriers to charge separation are examined in photovoltaic polymer blends based on regioregular-poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and two classes of electron acceptors: a perylene diimide (PDI) derivative and a fullerene (PCBM). Temperature-dependent measurements using ultrafast vibrational spectroscopy are used to directly measure the free energy barriers to charge separation. Charge separation in P3HT:PDI polymer blends occurs through activated pathways, whereas P3HT:PCBM blends exhibit activationless charge separation. X-ray scattering measurements reveal that neither the PDI derivative nor PCBM form highly crystalline domains in their polymer blends with P3HT. The present findings suggest that fullerenes are able to undergo barrierless charge separation even in the presence of structural disorder. In contrast, perylene diimides may require greater molecular order to achieve barrierless charge separation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films