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Title: Tailoring nanoscale morphology of polymer: Fullerene blends using electrostatic field

In this paper, to tailor the nanoscale phase separation in polymer/fullerene blends, we study the effect of electrostatic field (E-field) on the solidification of poly(3-hexylthiophene-2, 5-diyl) (P3HT):[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC 60BM) bulk heterojunction (BHJ). In addition to untreated sample (control); wet P3HT:PC 60BM thin films were exposed to E-field of Van de Graaff (VDG) generator at three different directions – horizontal (H), tilted (T) and vertical (V) – relative to the plane of the substrate. Surface and bulk characterizations of field-treated BHJs affirm that fullerene molecules can easily penetrate the spaghetti-like P3HT and move up and down following the E-field. E-field treatment yields thin films with large P3HT- and PCBM-rich domains acting as continuous pathways for efficient charge separation, transport, and collection. We improve; (1) the hole mobility values up to 19.4 × 10 -4 ± 1.6 × 10 -4 cm 2 V -1 s -1 (117% higher than the control), and (2) power conversion efficient (PCE) of conventional and inverted OPVs recording 2.58 ± 0.02% and 4.1 ± 0.4%. This E-field approach can serve as a new morphology-tuning technique, which is generally applicable to other polymer-fullerene systems.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [2] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [4] ;  [2] ;  [6] ;  [2]
  1. Mansoura Univ., Mansoura (Egypt); Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
  2. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
  3. Ames Lab., Ames, IA (United States)
  4. South Dakota State Univ., Brookings, SD (United States)
  5. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  6. Ames Lab., Ames, IA (United States); Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
IS-J 9235
Journal ID: ISSN 1944-8244; 129386; TRN: US1701178
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; GM915; AC02-07CH11358; CBET–1236839
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1944-8244
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Ames Laboratory (AMES), Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; GIWAXS; OPVs; P3HT; electrostatic field; fullerene; nanomorphology; Van de Graaff OPVs; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1347909