Charge transfer efficiency and optical properties of P3HT/PCBM spin coated thin films
Van Heerden, Brian Abraham
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The efficiency of organic photovoltaics is influenced by the structure of the polymer, the morphology of the film, the interfaces between the layers, the choice of electron acceptor material and the ratio between the electron acceptor material and the polymer. In this project, we have used regioregular poly (3-hexylthiophene) (rr-P3HT) as the electron donor material and [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), a derivative of the C60 fullerene, as the acceptor material. Different weight-ratios of rr-P3HT to PCBM were prepared by stirring for several hours in a chloroform solution and subsequently spin coated onto crystalline silicon and transparent conductive oxide/glass substrates. The effect of the PCBM concentration on the photo-induced optical emission and absorption properties of rr-P3HT was investigated by photoluminescence and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, respectively. Changes in the structural properties, as a function of the weight-ratio, were probed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. Results show that the structural integrity and crystallinity of rr-P3HT is compromised with the addition of excessive amounts of PCBM, which has a negative impact on the optical absorption of rr-P3HT and the photo-induced charge transfer mechanism between the rr-P3HT and PCBM. This work illustrates that blending rr-P3HT with an equal weight of PCBM results in an optimum configuration for improved performance in organic photovoltaic devices.