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Stability of polymer:PCBM thin films under competitive illumination and thermal stress

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Title: Stability of polymer:PCBM thin films under competitive illumination and thermal stress
Authors: Pont, S
Foglia, F
Higgins, A
Durrant, JR
Cabral, JP
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The combined effects of illumination and thermal annealing on the morphological stability and photodimerization in polymer/fullerene thin films are examined. While illumination is known to cause fullerene dimerization and thermal stress their dedimerization, the operation of solar cells involves exposure to both. The competitive outcome of these factors with blends of phenyl‐C61‐butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) and polystyrene (PS), supported on PEDOT:PSS is quantified. UV–vis spectroscopy is employed to quantify dimerization, time‐resolved neutron reflectivity to resolve the vertical composition stratification, and atomic force microscopy for demixing and coarsening in thin films. At the conventional thermal stress test temperature of 85 °C (and even up to the PS glass transition), photodimerization dominates, resulting in relative morphological stability. Prior illumination is found to result in improved stability upon high temperature annealing, compatible with the need for dedimerization to occur prior to structural relaxation. Modeling of the PCBM surface segregation data suggests that only PCBM monomers are able to diffuse and that illumination provides an effective means to control dimer population, and thus immobile fullerene fraction, in the timescales probed. The results provide a framework for understanding of the stability of organic solar cells under operating conditions.
Issue Date: 4-Oct-2018
Date of Acceptance: 9-Jul-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/62263
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201802520
ISSN: 1616-301X
Publisher: Wiley
Journal / Book Title: Advanced Functional Materials
Volume: 28
Issue: 40
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Authors. Published by WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: EPSRC
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
EPSRC
Funder's Grant Number: EP/L016702/1
EP/L016702/1
EP/L016702/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Technology
Chemistry, Multidisciplinary
Chemistry, Physical
Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
Materials Science, Multidisciplinary
Physics, Applied
Physics, Condensed Matter
Chemistry
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Materials Science
Physics
fullerenes
photochemistry
photovoltaic devices
polymeric materials
solar cells
HETEROJUNCTION SOLAR-CELLS
SOLID C-60 FILMS
ORGANIC PHOTOVOLTAICS
FULLERENES
PCBM
PHOTODEGRADATION
LIFETIMES
MECHANISM
LIGHT
03 Chemical Sciences
09 Engineering
02 Physical Sciences
Materials
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 1802520
Online Publication Date: 2018-08-13
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Chemistry
Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences



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