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Pyrene–Fullerene Interaction and Its Effect on the Behavior of Photovoltaic Blends

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journal contribution
posted on 23.03.2016, 14:55 by Claudio Carati, Nicola Gasparini, Sara Righi, Francesca Tinti, Valeria Fattori, Alberto Savoini, Alessandra Cominetti, Riccardo Po, Lucia Bonoldi, Nadia Camaioni
Improving the dispersion properties of unfunctionalized fullerenes in photovoltaic blends is a key factor for replacing the commonly employed butyric acid methyl ester derivatives (PBCM and PC71BM), with economical and light harvesting advantages. We consider here the effects of a pyrene derivative (PyBB) as dispersant of neat fullerenes (C60 or C70) in photovoltaic blends prepared with a low energy gap conjugated polymer (PTB7) as electron donor. The morphological and spectroscopic properties in the presence and absence of PyBB were evaluated by AFM, emission fluorescence, and light induced EPR, and the deep trap density of states was calculated in the two cases. The electrical properties of the devices prepared with or without PyBB were investigated and compared. The intimate interaction of fullerene/PyBB aromatic species revealed by the spectroscopic analysis is in agreement with the enhanced dispersion of the three-component blends. At the same time the deep trap density of states is varied, and the mobility of negative charge carriers is reduced in films prepared with PyBB dispersant, frustrating the beneficial effect of PyBB on the blend morphology.