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Diffusion-Limited Crystallization: A Rationale for the Thermal Stability of Non-Fullerene Solar Cells
Sichuan Univ, Peoples R China; Chalmers Univ Technol, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biomolecular and Organic Electronics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Univ Basque Country, Spain; Univ Basque Country, Spain.
Chalmers Univ Technol, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, ISSN 1944-8244, E-ISSN 1944-8252, Vol. 11, no 24, p. 21766-21774Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organic solar cells are thought to suffer from poor thermal stability of the active layer nanostructure, a common belief that is based on the extensive work that has been carried out on fullerene-based systems. We show that a widely studied non-fullerene acceptor, the indacenodithienothiophene-based acceptor ITIC, crystallizes in a profoundly different way as compared to fullerenes. Although fullerenes are frozen below the glass-transition temperature T-g of the photovoltaic blend, ITIC can undergo a glass-crystal transition considerably below its high T-g of similar to 180 degrees C. Nanoscopic crystallites of a low-temperature polymorph are able to form through a diffusion-limited crystallization process. The resulting fine-grained nanostructure does not evolve further with time and hence is characterized by a high degree of thermal stability. Instead, above T-g, the low temperature polymorph melts, and micrometer-sized crystals of a high-temperature polymorph develop, enabled by more rapid diffusion and hence long-range mass transport. This leads to the same detrimental decrease in photovoltaic performance that is known to occur also in the case of fullerene-based blends. Besides explaining the superior thermal stability of non-fullerene blends at relatively high temperatures, our work introduces a new rationale for the design of bulk heterojunctions that is not based on the selection of high-T-g materials per se but diffusion-limited crystallization. The planar structure of ITIC and potentially other non-fullerene acceptors readily facilitates the desired glass-crystal transition, which constitutes a significant advantage over fullerenes, and may pave the way for truly stable organic solar cells.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER CHEMICAL SOC , 2019. Vol. 11, no 24, p. 21766-21774
Keywords [en]
organic solar cell; thermally stable photovoltaics; glass-transition temperature; diffusion-limited crystallization; non-fullerene acceptor
National Category
Materials Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-159163DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b04554ISI: 000472683300055PubMedID: 31185565OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-159163DiVA, id: diva2:1339645
Note

Funding Agencies|Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation; Swedish Research Council [2016-06146]; Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research [RMA15-0052]; NSF [DMR-1332208]; German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) through the InnoProfile project "Organische p-i-n Bauelemente 2.2" [03IPT602X]

Available from: 2019-07-30 Created: 2019-07-30 Last updated: 2019-07-30

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