Device Strategies Directed to Improving the Efficiency of Solution-Processed Organic Solar Cells

  • Ru-Ze Liang

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

In the last decade, organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have been attracting much attention for their low cost, and feasibility of mass production in large-area modules. Reported power conversion efficiencies (PCE) of organic solar cells have reached more than 10%. These promising PCEs can be realized by uncovering important principles: (1) rational molecular design, (2) matching of the material energy level, (3) favorable morphology of donor-acceptor (D/A) network, (4) higher carrier mobilities, and (5) suppression of charge recombination within the bulk heterojunction (BHJ). Though these key properties are frequently stated, the relationships between these principles remain unclear, which motivates us to fill these gaps. In the beginning, we show that changing the sequence of donor and acceptor units of the benzodithiophene-core (BDT) SM donors critically impacts molecular packing and charge transport in BHJ solar cells. Moreover, we find out that by adding small amount of the external solvent additive, the domain size of the SMFQ1 become relatively smaller, resulting in the FF enhancement of ~70% and thus pushing PCE to >6.5%. To further improve the device performance, we utilize another technique of device optimization: Solvent Vapor Annealing (SVA). Compared with solvent additive, the SVA creates a solvent-saturated environment for SMs to re-arrange and crystalize, leading to PCE of >8%, with nearly-free bimolecular recombination. When the systems are shifted from fullerene acceptors to nonfullerene acceptors, using solvent additives in indacenodithiophene-core (IDT) systems significantly reduces the domain size from >500nm to
Date of AwardApr 18 2018
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Science and Engineering
SupervisorPierre Beaujuge (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Organic Solar Cell
  • Fullerene
  • Small Molecule
  • Photovoltaic
  • Bulk heterojunction

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