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Effects of Chain Orientation in Self-Organized Buffer Layers Based on Poly(3-alkylthiophene)s for Organic Photovoltaics

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journal contribution
posted on 19.02.2018, 00:00 by Fanji Wang, Kazuhito Hashimoto, Hiroshi Segawa, Keisuke Tajima
Surface-segregated monolayers (SSMs) based on two poly­(3-alkylthiophene)­s with semifluoroalkyl groups at either the side chains (P3DDFT) or one end of the main chain (P3BT-F17) were used as self-organized buffer layers at the electrode interfaces in bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic photovoltaic devices. Both of the SSMs greatly shifted the vacuum levels of the BHJ films at the surface due to the aligned permanent dipole moments of the semifluoroalkyl chains. Hole extraction in the BHJ of poly­(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT):[6,6]-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) became more efficient in the presence of the P3DDFT buffer layer, resulting in an improved power conversion efficiency. In contrast, the SSM of P3BT-F17 induced changes in the chain orientation of P3HT and the morphology of the BHJ films, resulting in decreased performance. These results indicate that the molecular design of polymer-based SSMs can affect not only the energy structure at the interface but also the morphology and the molecular orientations in the BHJs.

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