Exciton dynamics and device performance in polythiophene heterojunctions for photovoltaics

Stephanie V. Chasteen, Sue A. Carter, Garry Rumbles

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We present time-resolved photo luminescence studies in conjunction with device characterization of a variety of heterojunctions with poly-(3-hexylthiophene), or P3HT, as a means to understand how exciton dynamics affect device performance. We find that blends of P3HT with the electron-transporting polymer CN-ether-PPV and with the fullerene derivative PCBM result in ∼4-fold and ∼15-fold improvements in short-circuit currents, respectively, over neat-film P3HT on TiO 2 solgel. Despite efficient charge-transfer in P3HT:PCBM films, as evidenced by enhanced device performance and quenched steady-state luminescence, we observe only moderate reduction of the excited state lifetime, due to the already efficient non-radiative pathways in P3HT. We observe evidence for a new state that we assign to an exciplex in blends of P3HT with the electron-transporting polymer CN-ether-PPV. The exciplex state, which confirms the existence of charge-transfer between the two polymers, may account for the enhanced device performance of these blends by acting as a scavenger for excitons that would otherwise decay rapidly via non-radiative pathways. The long-range order of P3HT is disrupted when spin-cast on rough TiO 2 nanoparticles, and this results in a blueshift of the PL spectrum and a new long-lived decay component that we attribute to long-lived intrachain polarons. P3HT on smooth TiO 2 solgel films shows little or no quenching of the excited state, despite known charge transfer from P3HT to TiO 2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number59380J
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2005
EventOrganic Photovoltaics VI - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2005Aug 4 2005


  • CN-ether-PPV
  • Conjugated polymers
  • Fullerene
  • P3HT
  • PCBM
  • Photovoltaic effect
  • Plastic electronics
  • Polymer solar cell
  • Time-resolved photoluminescence
  • Titanium dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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