Probing the nanoscale phase separation in binary photovoltaic blends of poly(3-hexylthiophene) and methanofullerene by energy transfer.
ABSTRACT The generation of charge carriers in organic photovoltaic devices requires exciton diffusion to an interface of electron donor and acceptor materials, where charge separation occurs. We report a time resolved study of fluorescence quenching in films of poly(3-hexylthiophene) containing a range of fractions of the electron acceptor [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). We show that energy transfer from P3HT to PCBM helps to bring excitons to the interface, where they dissociate into charge carriers. Fluorescence quenching in blends with < or = 50 wt% of PCBM is controlled by exciton diffusion in P3HT. This allows us to estimate the average size of PCBM domains to be about 9 nm in the 1:1 blend. The implications for polymer solar cells are discussed.
- SourceAvailable from: Sebastiano CataldoMaterials. 01/2013; 6(3):1159-1190.
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ABSTRACT: It is common knowledge that poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT)/[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) blend, a prototype system for bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells, consists of a network of tens of nanometers-large donor-rich and acceptor-rich phases separated by extended finely intermixed border regions where PCBM diffuse into P3HT. Here we specifically address the photo-induced dynamics in a 10 nm thin P3HT/PCBM blend that consists of the intermixed region only. Using the multi-pass transient absorption technique (TrAMP) that enables us to perform ultra high sensitive measurements, we find that the primary process upon photoexcitation is ultrafast energy transfer from P3HT to PCBM. The expected charge separation due to hole transfer from PCBM to P3HT occurs in the 100 ps timescale. The derived picture is much different from the accepted view of ultra-fast electron transfer at the polymer/PCBM interface and provides new directions for the development of efficient devices.Scientific Reports 06/2013; 3:2073. · 2.93 Impact Factor