Polymer crystallization of partially miscible polythiophene/fullerene mixtures controls morphology

Derek R. Kozub, Kiarash Vakhshouri, Lisa M. Orme, Cheng Wang, Alexander Hexemer, Enrique Daniel Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

192 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mixtures of polythiophene and fullerene are intensely studied for organic photovoltaic applications. Control of nanoscale morphology of these materials is critical for device performance, but characterization and understanding of this morphology and how it arises is lacking. We use energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) to obtain high-contrast images of P3HT nanocrystals in organic semiconductor mixtures. Grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering correlates well with the length scales obtained from EFTEM images; we combine the two techniques to follow the morphology evolution under different material processing histories. EFTEM also measures local P3HT concentration in PCBM-rich regions, proving that these components are partially miscible. We determine the P3HT-PCBM X parameter and Flory-Huggins phase diagram, which predicts miscibility for P3HT volume fractions above 0.42. This miscibility suppresses fullerene crystallization. The nanoscale morphology in these materials, critical for solar cell performance, is driven by P3HT crystallization from a partially miscible blend.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5722-5726
Number of pages5
JournalMacromolecules
Volume44
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 26 2011

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Fullerenes
Crystallization
Polymers
Strategic materials
Transmission electron microscopy
Solubility
Semiconducting organic compounds
X ray scattering
Nanocrystals
Phase diagrams
Volume fraction
Solar cells
polythiophene
Processing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry

Cite this

Kozub, Derek R. ; Vakhshouri, Kiarash ; Orme, Lisa M. ; Wang, Cheng ; Hexemer, Alexander ; Gomez, Enrique Daniel. / Polymer crystallization of partially miscible polythiophene/fullerene mixtures controls morphology. In: Macromolecules. 2011 ; Vol. 44, No. 14. pp. 5722-5726.
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Polymer crystallization of partially miscible polythiophene/fullerene mixtures controls morphology. / Kozub, Derek R.; Vakhshouri, Kiarash; Orme, Lisa M.; Wang, Cheng; Hexemer, Alexander; Gomez, Enrique Daniel.

In: Macromolecules, Vol. 44, No. 14, 26.07.2011, p. 5722-5726.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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