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Manipulating the Morphology of P3HT–PCBM Bulk Heterojunction Blends with Solvent Vapor Annealing

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journal contribution
posted on 23.10.2012, 00:00 by Eric Verploegen, Chad E. Miller, Kristin Schmidt, Zhenan Bao, Michael F. Toney
Using grazing incidence X-ray scattering, we observe the effects of solvent vapors upon the morphology of poly­(3-hexylthiophene)–phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT–PCBM) bulk heterojunction thin film blends in real time; allowing us to observe morphological rearrangements that occur during this process as a function of solvent. We detail the swelling of the P3HT crystallites upon the introduction of solvent and the resulting changes in the P3HT crystallite morphology. We also demonstrate the ability for tetrahydrofuran vapor to induce crystallinity in PCBM domains. Additionally, we measure the nanoscale phase segregated domain size as a function of solvent vapor annealing and correlate this to the changes observed in the crystallite morphology of each component. Finally, we discuss the implications of the morphological changes induced by solvent vapor annealing on the device properties of BHJ solar cells.