All-organic bulk heterojunction solar cells based on blends of conjugated polymers with fullerenes have recently surpassed the 8% efficiency mark and are well on their way to the industrially relevant ∼15% threshold. Using a low band-gap conjugated polymer, we have recently shown that polymer side chain engineering can lead to dramatic improvement in the in-plane charge carrier mobility. In this article, we investigate the effectiveness of siloxy side chain derivatization in controlling the photovoltaic performance of polymer:[6,6]-phenyl-C-butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) blends and hence its influence on charge transport in the out-of-plane direction relevant for organic solar cells. We find that, in neat blends, the photocurrent of the polymer with siloxy side chains (PII2T-Si) is 4 times greater than that in blends using the polymer with branched aliphatic side chains (PII2T-ref). This difference is due to a larger out-of-plane hole mobility for PII2T-Si brought about by a largely face-on crystallite orientation as well as more optimal nanoscale polymer:PC71BM mixing. However, upon incorporating a common processing additive, 1,8-diiodooctane (DIO), into the spin-casting blend solution and following optimization, the PII2T-ref:PC71BM OPV device performance undergoes a large improvement and becomes the better-performing device, almost independent of DIO concentration (>1%). We find that the precise amount of DIO plays a larger role in determining the efficiency of PII2T-Si:PC71BM, and even at its maximum, the device performance lags behind optimized PII2T-ref:PC71BM blends. Using a combination of atomic force microscopy and small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering, we are able to elucidate the morphological modifications associated with the DIO-induced changes in both the nanoscale morphology and the molecular packing in blend films. © 2012 American Chemical Society.