Impact of the Nature of the Side-Chains on the Polymer-Fullerene Packing in the Mixed Regions of Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells

Tonghui Wang, Mahesh Kumar Ravva, Jean-Luc Bredas

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33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Polymer-fullerene packing in mixed regions of a bulk heterojunction solar cell is expected to play a major role in exciton-dissociation, charge-separation, and charge-recombination processes. Here, molecular dynamics simulations are combined with density functional theory calculations to examine the impact of nature and location of polymer side-chains on the polymer-fullerene packing in mixed regions. The focus is on poly-benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene-thieno[3,4-c]pyrrole-4,6-dione (PBDTTPD) as electron-donating material and [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC61BM) as electron-accepting material. Three polymer side-chain patterns are considered: i) linear side-chains on both benzodithiophene (BDT) and thienopyrroledione (TPD) moieties; ii) two linear side-chains on BDT and a branched side-chain on TPD; and iii) two branched side-chains on BDT and a linear side-chain on TPD. Increasing the number of branched side-chains is found to decrease the polymer packing density and thereby to enhance PBDTTPD–PC61 BM mixing. The nature and location of side-chains are found to play a determining role in the probability of finding PC61BM molecules close to either BDT or TPD. The electronic couplings relevant for the exciton-dissociation and charge-recombination processes are also evaluated. Overall, the findings are consistent with the experimental evolution of the PBDTTPD–PC61BM solar-cell performance as a function of side-chain patterns. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5913-5921
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Volume26
Issue number32
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 20 2016

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