Physical mechanisms responsible for the water-induced degradation of PC61BM P3HT photovoltaic thin films

A.J. Parnell, A.J. Cadby, A. Plumridge, R.M. Dalgliesh, M.W.A. Skoda, R.A.L. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We show that [6,6]‐phenyl‐C61‐butyric acid methyl ester (PC61BM) at the surface of thin film blends of poly(3‐hexylthiophene) (P3HT):PC61BM can be patterned by water. Using a series of heating and cooling steps, water droplets condense onto the blend film surface. This is possible due to the liquid‐like, water swollen layer of poly(3,4‐ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate. Breath pattern water deformation and subsequent drying on the film surface results in isolated PC61BM structures, showing that migration of PC61BM takes place. This was confirmed by selective wavelength illumination to spatially map the photoluminescence from the P3HT and PC61BM. Within a device, redistribution of the surface PC61BM into aggregates would be catastrophic, as it would markedly alter device performance. We also postulate that repeated volume change of the poly(3,4‐ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate layer by water swelling may be, in part, responsible for the delamination failure mechanism in thin film solar cells devices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Early online date30 Sept 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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