Robust Processing of Small-Molecule:Fullerene Organic Solar Cells via Use of Nucleating Agents

Neil D. Treat, Obadiah G. Reid, Sarah Fearn, Gary Rumbles, Craig J. Hawker, Michael L. Chabinyc, Natalie Stingelin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of small-molecule bulk heterojunction solar cells is highly sensitive to the "ink" formulation used to produce the photoactive layer. Here we demonstrate that the addition of nucleating agents renders device fabrication notably less susceptible to the ink composition, promising a route toward more robust processing of efficient devices over large areas and enabling more facile materials screening. We selected as a model system blends of 7,7-[4,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl)-4H-silolo[3,2-b:4,5-b]dithiophene-2,6-diyl]bis[6-fluoro-4-(5-hexyl-[2,2-bithiophen]-5-yl)benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole](p-DTS(FBTTh 2 ) 2 ) as the donor and [6,6]-phenyl C 71 -butyric acid methyl ester (PC 71 BM) as the acceptor because this is one of the small-molecule OPV blends with a device performance that is most sensitive to ink formulation, especially when used with the processing aid diiodooctane (DIO). Addition of DIO is essential to obtain high device performances; however, a notable increase in device performance is only achieved over a very narrow DIO content regime. Use of nucleating agents drastically changes this situation and leads to well-performing devices even at extreme levels of DIO. We thus start to address here one of the great challenges in organic solar cell research: the fact that, too often, only a very limited composition range leads to high efficiency devices. This means that for every new donor or acceptor a multitude of formulations have to be tested, including in combination with processing aids, to ensure that promising materials are not overlooked. The use of nucleating agents, thus, promises to render materials discovery more straightforward as this dependency of device performance with composition can be reduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1973-1980
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Volume1
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 29 2018

Fingerprint

Fullerenes
Ink
Molecules
Processing
Chemical analysis
Thiadiazoles
Butyric acid
Butyric Acid
Conversion efficiency
Heterojunctions
Solar cells
Esters
Screening
Fabrication
Organic solar cells

Keywords

  • device yield
  • nucleating agents
  • organic solar cells
  • processing aids
  • processing reproducibility
  • small-molecule:fullerene blends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Robust Processing of Small-Molecule:Fullerene Organic Solar Cells via Use of Nucleating Agents. / Treat, Neil D.; Reid, Obadiah G.; Fearn, Sarah; Rumbles, Gary; Hawker, Craig J.; Chabinyc, Michael L.; Stingelin, Natalie.

In: ACS Applied Energy Materials, Vol. 1, No. 5, 29.05.2018, p. 1973-1980.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Treat, Neil D. ; Reid, Obadiah G. ; Fearn, Sarah ; Rumbles, Gary ; Hawker, Craig J. ; Chabinyc, Michael L. ; Stingelin, Natalie. / Robust Processing of Small-Molecule:Fullerene Organic Solar Cells via Use of Nucleating Agents. In: ACS Applied Energy Materials. 2018 ; Vol. 1, No. 5. pp. 1973-1980.
@article{230e9b0d47364ce9ab29e2b217626cbc,
title = "Robust Processing of Small-Molecule:Fullerene Organic Solar Cells via Use of Nucleating Agents",
abstract = "The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of small-molecule bulk heterojunction solar cells is highly sensitive to the {"}ink{"} formulation used to produce the photoactive layer. Here we demonstrate that the addition of nucleating agents renders device fabrication notably less susceptible to the ink composition, promising a route toward more robust processing of efficient devices over large areas and enabling more facile materials screening. We selected as a model system blends of 7,7-[4,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl)-4H-silolo[3,2-b:4,5-b]dithiophene-2,6-diyl]bis[6-fluoro-4-(5-hexyl-[2,2-bithiophen]-5-yl)benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole](p-DTS(FBTTh 2 ) 2 ) as the donor and [6,6]-phenyl C 71 -butyric acid methyl ester (PC 71 BM) as the acceptor because this is one of the small-molecule OPV blends with a device performance that is most sensitive to ink formulation, especially when used with the processing aid diiodooctane (DIO). Addition of DIO is essential to obtain high device performances; however, a notable increase in device performance is only achieved over a very narrow DIO content regime. Use of nucleating agents drastically changes this situation and leads to well-performing devices even at extreme levels of DIO. We thus start to address here one of the great challenges in organic solar cell research: the fact that, too often, only a very limited composition range leads to high efficiency devices. This means that for every new donor or acceptor a multitude of formulations have to be tested, including in combination with processing aids, to ensure that promising materials are not overlooked. The use of nucleating agents, thus, promises to render materials discovery more straightforward as this dependency of device performance with composition can be reduced.",
keywords = "device yield, nucleating agents, organic solar cells, processing aids, processing reproducibility, small-molecule:fullerene blends",
author = "Treat, {Neil D.} and Reid, {Obadiah G.} and Sarah Fearn and Gary Rumbles and Hawker, {Craig J.} and Chabinyc, {Michael L.} and Natalie Stingelin",
year = "2018",
month = "5",
day = "29",
doi = "10.1021/acsaem.8b00082",
language = "English",
volume = "1",
pages = "1973--1980",
journal = "ACS Applied Energy Materials",
issn = "2574-0962",
publisher = "American Chemical Society",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Robust Processing of Small-Molecule:Fullerene Organic Solar Cells via Use of Nucleating Agents

AU - Treat, Neil D.

AU - Reid, Obadiah G.

AU - Fearn, Sarah

AU - Rumbles, Gary

AU - Hawker, Craig J.

AU - Chabinyc, Michael L.

AU - Stingelin, Natalie

PY - 2018/5/29

Y1 - 2018/5/29

N2 - The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of small-molecule bulk heterojunction solar cells is highly sensitive to the "ink" formulation used to produce the photoactive layer. Here we demonstrate that the addition of nucleating agents renders device fabrication notably less susceptible to the ink composition, promising a route toward more robust processing of efficient devices over large areas and enabling more facile materials screening. We selected as a model system blends of 7,7-[4,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl)-4H-silolo[3,2-b:4,5-b]dithiophene-2,6-diyl]bis[6-fluoro-4-(5-hexyl-[2,2-bithiophen]-5-yl)benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole](p-DTS(FBTTh 2 ) 2 ) as the donor and [6,6]-phenyl C 71 -butyric acid methyl ester (PC 71 BM) as the acceptor because this is one of the small-molecule OPV blends with a device performance that is most sensitive to ink formulation, especially when used with the processing aid diiodooctane (DIO). Addition of DIO is essential to obtain high device performances; however, a notable increase in device performance is only achieved over a very narrow DIO content regime. Use of nucleating agents drastically changes this situation and leads to well-performing devices even at extreme levels of DIO. We thus start to address here one of the great challenges in organic solar cell research: the fact that, too often, only a very limited composition range leads to high efficiency devices. This means that for every new donor or acceptor a multitude of formulations have to be tested, including in combination with processing aids, to ensure that promising materials are not overlooked. The use of nucleating agents, thus, promises to render materials discovery more straightforward as this dependency of device performance with composition can be reduced.

AB - The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of small-molecule bulk heterojunction solar cells is highly sensitive to the "ink" formulation used to produce the photoactive layer. Here we demonstrate that the addition of nucleating agents renders device fabrication notably less susceptible to the ink composition, promising a route toward more robust processing of efficient devices over large areas and enabling more facile materials screening. We selected as a model system blends of 7,7-[4,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl)-4H-silolo[3,2-b:4,5-b]dithiophene-2,6-diyl]bis[6-fluoro-4-(5-hexyl-[2,2-bithiophen]-5-yl)benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole](p-DTS(FBTTh 2 ) 2 ) as the donor and [6,6]-phenyl C 71 -butyric acid methyl ester (PC 71 BM) as the acceptor because this is one of the small-molecule OPV blends with a device performance that is most sensitive to ink formulation, especially when used with the processing aid diiodooctane (DIO). Addition of DIO is essential to obtain high device performances; however, a notable increase in device performance is only achieved over a very narrow DIO content regime. Use of nucleating agents drastically changes this situation and leads to well-performing devices even at extreme levels of DIO. We thus start to address here one of the great challenges in organic solar cell research: the fact that, too often, only a very limited composition range leads to high efficiency devices. This means that for every new donor or acceptor a multitude of formulations have to be tested, including in combination with processing aids, to ensure that promising materials are not overlooked. The use of nucleating agents, thus, promises to render materials discovery more straightforward as this dependency of device performance with composition can be reduced.

KW - device yield

KW - nucleating agents

KW - organic solar cells

KW - processing aids

KW - processing reproducibility

KW - small-molecule:fullerene blends

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85064763791&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85064763791&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1021/acsaem.8b00082

DO - 10.1021/acsaem.8b00082

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85064763791

VL - 1

SP - 1973

EP - 1980

JO - ACS Applied Energy Materials

JF - ACS Applied Energy Materials

SN - 2574-0962

IS - 5

ER -