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Title: Petascale Simulations of the Morphology and the Molecular Interface of Bulk Heterojunctions

Understanding how additives interact and segregate within bulk heterojunction (BHJ) thin films is critical for exercising control over structure at multiple length scales and delivering improvements in photovoltaic performance. The morphological evolution of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and phenyl-C 61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) blends that are commensurate with the size of a BHJ thin film is examined using petascale coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. When comparing 2 component and 3 component systems containing short P3HT chains as additives undergoing thermal annealing we demonstrate that the short chains alter the morphol- ogy in apparently useful ways: They efficiently migrate to the P3HT/PCBM interface, increasing the P3HT domain size and interfacial area. Simulation results agree with depth profiles determined from neutron reflectometry measurements that reveal PCBM enrichment near substrate and air interfaces, but a decrease in that PCBM enrich- ment when a small amount of short P3HT chains are integrated into the BHJ blend. Atomistic simulations of the P3HT/PCBM blend interfaces show a non-monotonic dependence of the interfacial thickness as a function of number of repeat units in the oligomeric P3HT additive, and the thiophene rings orient parallel to the interfacial plane as they approach the PCBM domain. Using the nanoscale geometries of themore » P3HT oligomers, LUMO and HOMO energy levels calculated by density functional theory are found to be invariant across the donor/acceptor interface. Finally, these connections between additives, processing, and morphology at all length scales are generally useful for efforts to improve device performance.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  3. Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; SC0012432
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Nano
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1936-0851
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Spallation Neutron Source (SNS); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; bulk heterojunction; coupled-cluster methods; donor/acceptor interface; molecular dynamics simulations; neutron reflectometry; organic photovoltaics; petascale simulations
OSTI Identifier: