skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Understanding the Interplay of Transport-Morphology-Performance in PBDB-T Based Polymer Solar Cells

Abstract

Polymer-polymer blends have been reported to show exceptional thermal and ambient stability. However, power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) from devices using polymeric acceptors have been recorded to be significantly lower than those based on conjugated molecular acceptors. Here, two organic nonfullerene bulk heterojunction (BHJ) blends ITIC:PBDB-T and N2200:PBDB-T, together with their fullerene counterpart, PCBM:PBDB-T, are adopted to understand the effect of electron acceptors on device performance. We comprehensively investigate free charge carrier properties using time-resolved microwave conductivity (TRMC) measurements. The nonfullerene devices show an improved PCE of 10.06% and 6.65% in the ITIC and N2200 based cells, respectively. In comparison, the PCBM: PBDB-T based devices yielded a PCE of 5.88%. The optimal N2200: PBDB-T produced the highest TRMC mobility, longest lifetime, and greatest free carrier diffusion length. We found that such phenomena can be associated with the unfavorable morphology of the all-polymer BHJ microstructure. In contrast, the solar cell using either the PCBM or ITIC acceptors display a more balanced donor and acceptor phase separation, leading to more efficient free carrier separation and transport in an operating device. Sacrificing efficiency for superior stability, we show that the improved structure in all-polymer blend could deliver a more stable morphology under thermal stress.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Soochow Univ., Suzhou (China)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of Yangon (Myanmar)
  5. King Mongkut's Univ. of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok (Thailand)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Renewable Power Office. Solar Energy Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1593692
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-75202
Journal ID: ISSN 2367-198X; MainId:16692;UUID:637bfb9b-99ef-e911-9c29-ac162d87dfe5;MainAdminID:5170
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Solar RRL
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2367-198X
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; free carrier mobility; nonfullerene acceptor; polymer solar cells; stability; time-resolved microwave conductivity; TRMC

Citation Formats

Zhang, Qilin, Yuan, Xin, Feng, Yifeng, Larson, Bryon W., Su, Gregory M., Maung, Yin Maung, Rujisamphan, Nopporn, Li, Youyong, Yuan, Jianyu, and Ma, Wanli. Understanding the Interplay of Transport-Morphology-Performance in PBDB-T Based Polymer Solar Cells. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1002/solr.201900524.
Zhang, Qilin, Yuan, Xin, Feng, Yifeng, Larson, Bryon W., Su, Gregory M., Maung, Yin Maung, Rujisamphan, Nopporn, Li, Youyong, Yuan, Jianyu, & Ma, Wanli. Understanding the Interplay of Transport-Morphology-Performance in PBDB-T Based Polymer Solar Cells. United States. doi:10.1002/solr.201900524.
Zhang, Qilin, Yuan, Xin, Feng, Yifeng, Larson, Bryon W., Su, Gregory M., Maung, Yin Maung, Rujisamphan, Nopporn, Li, Youyong, Yuan, Jianyu, and Ma, Wanli. Thu . "Understanding the Interplay of Transport-Morphology-Performance in PBDB-T Based Polymer Solar Cells". United States. doi:10.1002/solr.201900524. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1593692.
@article{osti_1593692,
title = {Understanding the Interplay of Transport-Morphology-Performance in PBDB-T Based Polymer Solar Cells},
author = {Zhang, Qilin and Yuan, Xin and Feng, Yifeng and Larson, Bryon W. and Su, Gregory M. and Maung, Yin Maung and Rujisamphan, Nopporn and Li, Youyong and Yuan, Jianyu and Ma, Wanli},
abstractNote = {Polymer-polymer blends have been reported to show exceptional thermal and ambient stability. However, power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) from devices using polymeric acceptors have been recorded to be significantly lower than those based on conjugated molecular acceptors. Here, two organic nonfullerene bulk heterojunction (BHJ) blends ITIC:PBDB-T and N2200:PBDB-T, together with their fullerene counterpart, PCBM:PBDB-T, are adopted to understand the effect of electron acceptors on device performance. We comprehensively investigate free charge carrier properties using time-resolved microwave conductivity (TRMC) measurements. The nonfullerene devices show an improved PCE of 10.06% and 6.65% in the ITIC and N2200 based cells, respectively. In comparison, the PCBM: PBDB-T based devices yielded a PCE of 5.88%. The optimal N2200: PBDB-T produced the highest TRMC mobility, longest lifetime, and greatest free carrier diffusion length. We found that such phenomena can be associated with the unfavorable morphology of the all-polymer BHJ microstructure. In contrast, the solar cell using either the PCBM or ITIC acceptors display a more balanced donor and acceptor phase separation, leading to more efficient free carrier separation and transport in an operating device. Sacrificing efficiency for superior stability, we show that the improved structure in all-polymer blend could deliver a more stable morphology under thermal stress.},
doi = {10.1002/solr.201900524},
journal = {Solar RRL},
number = 4,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {1}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 3 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Quantitative Determination of Organic Semiconductor Microstructure from the Molecular to Device Scale
journal, June 2012

  • Rivnay, Jonathan; Mannsfeld, Stefan C. B.; Miller, Chad E.
  • Chemical Reviews, Vol. 112, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1021/cr3001109

Aggregation and morphology control enables multiple cases of high-efficiency polymer solar cells
journal, November 2014

  • Liu, Yuhang; Zhao, Jingbo; Li, Zhengke
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 5, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6293

High efficiency all-polymer solar cells realized by the synergistic effect between the polymer side-chain structure and solvent additive
journal, January 2015

  • Yuan, Jianyu; Ma, Wanli
  • Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol. 3, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.1039/c4ta06648k

Molecular Design of Benzodithiophene-Based Organic Photovoltaic Materials
journal, June 2016


High Performance All-Polymer Solar Cells by Synergistic Effects of Fine-Tuned Crystallinity and Solvent Annealing
journal, August 2016

  • Li, Zhaojun; Xu, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Wei
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 138, Issue 34
  • DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b04822

Inter-Fullerene Electronic Coupling Controls the Efficiency of Photoinduced Charge Generation in Organic Bulk Heterojunctions
journal, September 2016

  • Larson, Bryon W.; Reid, Obadiah G.; Coffey, David C.
  • Advanced Energy Materials, Vol. 6, Issue 24
  • DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201601427

Aggregation‐Induced Multilength Scaled Morphology Enabling 11.76% Efficiency in All‐Polymer Solar Cells Using Printing Fabrication
journal, August 2019


A high-mobility electron-transporting polymer for printed transistors
journal, January 2009

  • Yan, He; Chen, Zhihua; Zheng, Yan
  • Nature, Vol. 457, Issue 7230, p. 679-686
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature07727

Flexible, highly efficient all-polymer solar cells
journal, October 2015

  • Kim, Taesu; Kim, Jae-Han; Kang, Tae Eui
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 6, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9547

Ambient Processable and Stable All-Polymer Organic Solar Cells
journal, January 2019

  • Xu, Yalong; Yuan, Jianyu; Zhou, Sijie
  • Advanced Functional Materials, Vol. 29, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201806747

Space-Charge-Limited Currents in Solids
journal, March 1955


Molecular Optimization Enables over 13% Efficiency in Organic Solar Cells
journal, May 2017

  • Zhao, Wenchao; Li, Sunsun; Yao, Huifeng
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 139, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b02677

Single-junction polymer solar cells with high efficiency and photovoltage
journal, February 2015


Recent Advances, Design Guidelines, and Prospects of All-Polymer Solar Cells
journal, June 2019


High-efficiency and air-stable P3HT-based polymer solar cells with a new non-fullerene acceptor
journal, June 2016

  • Holliday, Sarah; Ashraf, Raja Shahid; Wadsworth, Andrew
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 7, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11585

Single-Junction Organic Solar Cell with over 15% Efficiency Using Fused-Ring Acceptor with Electron-Deficient Core
journal, April 2019


Organic solar cells based on non-fullerene acceptors
journal, January 2018

  • Hou, Jianhui; Inganäs, Olle; Friend, Richard H.
  • Nature Materials, Vol. 17, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmat5063

Simultaneously Improved Efficiency and Stability in All-Polymer Solar Cells by a P–i–N Architecture
journal, August 2019


Conjugated Polymer Photovoltaic Materials with Broad Absorption Band and High Charge Carrier Mobility
journal, August 2008


High-Performance and Stable All-Polymer Solar Cells Using Donor and Acceptor Polymers with Complementary Absorption
journal, March 2017

  • Li, Zhaojun; Zhang, Wei; Xu, Xiaofeng
  • Advanced Energy Materials, Vol. 7, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602722

Engineering the morphology via processing additives in multiple all-polymer solar cells for improved performance
journal, January 2018

  • Yuan, Jianyu; Xu, Yalong; Shi, Guozheng
  • Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol. 6, Issue 22
  • DOI: 10.1039/c8ta03343a

Polymer Photovoltaic Cells: Enhanced Efficiencies via a Network of Internal Donor-Acceptor Heterojunctions
journal, December 1995


Polymer–Fullerene Composite Solar Cells
journal, January 2008

  • Thompson, Barry C.; Fréchet, Jean M. J.
  • Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Vol. 47, Issue 1, p. 58-77
  • DOI: 10.1002/anie.200702506

Synthesis of Conjugated Polymers for Organic Solar Cell Applications
journal, November 2009

  • Cheng, Yen-Ju; Yang, Sheng-Hsiung; Hsu, Chain-Shu
  • Chemical Reviews, Vol. 109, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1021/cr900182s

Stability/degradation of polymer solar cells
journal, July 2008

  • Jørgensen, Mikkel; Norrman, Kion; Krebs, Frederik C.
  • Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol. 92, Issue 7, p. 686-714
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.solmat.2008.01.005

An Electron Acceptor Challenging Fullerenes for Efficient Polymer Solar Cells
journal, January 2015


Correlated Donor/Acceptor Crystal Orientation Controls Photocurrent Generation in All-Polymer Solar Cells
journal, April 2014

  • Schubert, Marcel; Collins, Brian A.; Mangold, Hannah
  • Advanced Functional Materials, Vol. 24, Issue 26
  • DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201304216

Processing Additives for Improved Efficiency from Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells
journal, March 2008

  • Lee, Jae Kwan; Ma, Wan Li; Brabec, Christoph J.
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 130, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1021/ja710079w

Material insights and challenges for non-fullerene organic solar cells based on small molecular acceptors
journal, July 2018


Fullerene-Free Polymer Solar Cells with over 11% Efficiency and Excellent Thermal Stability
journal, April 2016

  • Zhao, Wenchao; Qian, Deping; Zhang, Shaoqing
  • Advanced Materials, Vol. 28, Issue 23
  • DOI: 10.1002/adma.201600281

Next-generation organic photovoltaics based on non-fullerene acceptors
journal, February 2018


Polymer donor–polymer acceptor (all-polymer) solar cells
journal, April 2013


Over 16% efficiency organic photovoltaic cells enabled by a chlorinated acceptor with increased open-circuit voltages
journal, June 2019


Elucidating the long-range charge carrier mobility in metal halide perovskite thin films
journal, January 2019

  • Lim, Jongchul; Hörantner, Maximilian T.; Sakai, Nobuya
  • Energy & Environmental Science, Vol. 12, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1039/c8ee03395a

Charge carrier recombination in organic solar cells
journal, December 2013


Thermally Stable All-Polymer Solar Cells with High Tolerance on Blend Ratios
journal, March 2018

  • Zhang, Yannan; Xu, Yalong; Ford, Michael J.
  • Advanced Energy Materials, Vol. 8, Issue 18
  • DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201800029

11.2% All-Polymer Tandem Solar Cells with Simultaneously Improved Efficiency and Stability
journal, July 2018


Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells: Morphology and Performance Relationships
journal, May 2014

  • Huang, Ye; Kramer, Edward J.; Heeger, Alan J.
  • Chemical Reviews, Vol. 114, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1021/cr400353v

Engineering the morphology via processing additives in multiple all-polymer solar cells for improved performance
journal, January 2018

  • Yuan, Jianyu; Xu, Yalong; Shi, Guozheng
  • Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol. 6, Issue 22
  • DOI: 10.1039/C8TA03343A

Space-Charge-Limited Currents in Solids
journal, March 1955


Elucidating the long-range charge carrier mobility in metal halide perovskite thin films
journal, January 2019

  • Lim, Jongchul; Hörantner, Maximilian T.; Sakai, Nobuya
  • Energy & Environmental Science, Vol. 12, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1039/C8EE03395A

High efficiency all-polymer solar cells realized by the synergistic effect between the polymer side-chain structure and solvent additive
journal, January 2015

  • Yuan, Jianyu; Ma, Wanli
  • Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol. 3, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.1039/C4TA06648K