ABSTRACT: Herein we propose an approach toward the optimization of the photovoltaic performance of bulk heterojunctions by tuning the composition of the active layer with respect to the molecular weight of the semiconducting polymer. We used a poly(3-hexylthiophene):[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT:PCBM) blend as a typical system and varied the molecular weight of the P3HT semiconducting polymer in order to determine its influence on the bulk heterojunction morphology as well as on the optoelectronic characteristics of the device. We have systematically mapped out the phase diagram for different molecular weight P3HTs blended with PCBM and observed the presence of a eutectic composition, which shifts to higher content of P3HT for lower molecular weight P3HTs. This shift inherent to the P3HT molecular weight is also apparent in the photovoltaic performance as the eutectic composition corresponds to the best of the photovoltaic properties. The P3HT molecular weight dependence of the eutectic composition is due to the molecular weight dependence of the P3HT crystallization behavior, which leads to dramatic morphological changes of the bulk heterojunction.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 09/2011; 115(44):12717-27. · 3.70 Impact Factor