Detection and role of trace impurities in high-performance organic solar cells

Maxim P. Nikiforov, Barry Lai, Wei Chen, Si Chen, Richard D Schaller, Joseph Strzalka, Jörg Maser, Seth B. Darling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

116 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Trace impurities in organic solar cells, such as those from residual catalyst material in conjugated polymers, are often ignored but are known to deleteriously affect device performance. Batch-to-batch variations in the nature and quantity of such impurities leads to widespread issues with irreproducible optoelectronic function, yet to date no technique has emerged that is reliably capable of identifying the character of impurities or their concentration in organic photovoltaic active layer blends. Here we focus on state-of-the-art, high-performance bulk heterojunction blends and show that synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence can detect and quantify trace concentrations of metal impurities in these systems. Adopting a strategy of artificially introducing known quantities of additional catalyst into polymer/fullerene blends, we identify both the threshold concentration at which performance degrades and the mechanism for the degradation. With the knowledge of a target impurity concentration and a technique in hand to accurately measure their presence, researchers can implement materials preparation processes to achieve consistent, high performance in organic solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1513-1520
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Fingerprint

polymer
catalyst
Impurities
fullerene
active layer
X-ray fluorescence
degradation
metal
Fullerenes
Catalysts
Conjugated polymers
Synchrotrons
Optoelectronic devices
Heterojunctions
Polymers
Metals
Fluorescence
detection
material
solar cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

Cite this

Nikiforov, M. P., Lai, B., Chen, W., Chen, S., Schaller, R. D., Strzalka, J., ... Darling, S. B. (2013). Detection and role of trace impurities in high-performance organic solar cells. Energy and Environmental Science, 6(6), 1513-1520. https://doi.org/10.1039/c3ee40556g

Detection and role of trace impurities in high-performance organic solar cells. / Nikiforov, Maxim P.; Lai, Barry; Chen, Wei; Chen, Si; Schaller, Richard D; Strzalka, Joseph; Maser, Jörg; Darling, Seth B.

In: Energy and Environmental Science, Vol. 6, No. 6, 06.2013, p. 1513-1520.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nikiforov, MP, Lai, B, Chen, W, Chen, S, Schaller, RD, Strzalka, J, Maser, J & Darling, SB 2013, 'Detection and role of trace impurities in high-performance organic solar cells', Energy and Environmental Science, vol. 6, no. 6, pp. 1513-1520. https://doi.org/10.1039/c3ee40556g
Nikiforov, Maxim P. ; Lai, Barry ; Chen, Wei ; Chen, Si ; Schaller, Richard D ; Strzalka, Joseph ; Maser, Jörg ; Darling, Seth B. / Detection and role of trace impurities in high-performance organic solar cells. In: Energy and Environmental Science. 2013 ; Vol. 6, No. 6. pp. 1513-1520.
@article{ff215c77a7384842add3f096fb503e45,
title = "Detection and role of trace impurities in high-performance organic solar cells",
abstract = "Trace impurities in organic solar cells, such as those from residual catalyst material in conjugated polymers, are often ignored but are known to deleteriously affect device performance. Batch-to-batch variations in the nature and quantity of such impurities leads to widespread issues with irreproducible optoelectronic function, yet to date no technique has emerged that is reliably capable of identifying the character of impurities or their concentration in organic photovoltaic active layer blends. Here we focus on state-of-the-art, high-performance bulk heterojunction blends and show that synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence can detect and quantify trace concentrations of metal impurities in these systems. Adopting a strategy of artificially introducing known quantities of additional catalyst into polymer/fullerene blends, we identify both the threshold concentration at which performance degrades and the mechanism for the degradation. With the knowledge of a target impurity concentration and a technique in hand to accurately measure their presence, researchers can implement materials preparation processes to achieve consistent, high performance in organic solar cells.",
author = "Nikiforov, {Maxim P.} and Barry Lai and Wei Chen and Si Chen and Schaller, {Richard D} and Joseph Strzalka and J{\"o}rg Maser and Darling, {Seth B.}",
year = "2013",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1039/c3ee40556g",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
pages = "1513--1520",
journal = "Energy and Environmental Science",
issn = "1754-5692",
publisher = "Royal Society of Chemistry",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Detection and role of trace impurities in high-performance organic solar cells

AU - Nikiforov, Maxim P.

AU - Lai, Barry

AU - Chen, Wei

AU - Chen, Si

AU - Schaller, Richard D

AU - Strzalka, Joseph

AU - Maser, Jörg

AU - Darling, Seth B.

PY - 2013/6

Y1 - 2013/6

N2 - Trace impurities in organic solar cells, such as those from residual catalyst material in conjugated polymers, are often ignored but are known to deleteriously affect device performance. Batch-to-batch variations in the nature and quantity of such impurities leads to widespread issues with irreproducible optoelectronic function, yet to date no technique has emerged that is reliably capable of identifying the character of impurities or their concentration in organic photovoltaic active layer blends. Here we focus on state-of-the-art, high-performance bulk heterojunction blends and show that synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence can detect and quantify trace concentrations of metal impurities in these systems. Adopting a strategy of artificially introducing known quantities of additional catalyst into polymer/fullerene blends, we identify both the threshold concentration at which performance degrades and the mechanism for the degradation. With the knowledge of a target impurity concentration and a technique in hand to accurately measure their presence, researchers can implement materials preparation processes to achieve consistent, high performance in organic solar cells.

AB - Trace impurities in organic solar cells, such as those from residual catalyst material in conjugated polymers, are often ignored but are known to deleteriously affect device performance. Batch-to-batch variations in the nature and quantity of such impurities leads to widespread issues with irreproducible optoelectronic function, yet to date no technique has emerged that is reliably capable of identifying the character of impurities or their concentration in organic photovoltaic active layer blends. Here we focus on state-of-the-art, high-performance bulk heterojunction blends and show that synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence can detect and quantify trace concentrations of metal impurities in these systems. Adopting a strategy of artificially introducing known quantities of additional catalyst into polymer/fullerene blends, we identify both the threshold concentration at which performance degrades and the mechanism for the degradation. With the knowledge of a target impurity concentration and a technique in hand to accurately measure their presence, researchers can implement materials preparation processes to achieve consistent, high performance in organic solar cells.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84878067442&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84878067442&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1039/c3ee40556g

DO - 10.1039/c3ee40556g

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 1513

EP - 1520

JO - Energy and Environmental Science

JF - Energy and Environmental Science

SN - 1754-5692

IS - 6

ER -