3 years ago

Charge Generation and Recombination in an Organic Solar Cell with Low Energetic Offsets

Charge Generation and Recombination in an Organic Solar Cell with Low Energetic Offsets
Ming Wang, Michael P. Hughes, Dieter Neher, Viktor V. Brus, Akchheta Karki, Guillermo C. Bazan, Niva A. Ran, Harald Ade, Michael C. Heiber, Hengbin Wang, Xuechen Jiao, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, John A. Love
Organic bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells require energetic offsets between the donor and acceptor to obtain high short-circuit currents (JSC) and fill factors (FF). However, it is necessary to reduce the energetic offsets to achieve high open-circuit voltages (VOC). Recently, reports have highlighted BHJ blends that are pushing at the accepted limits of energetic offsets necessary for high efficiency. Unfortunately, most of these BHJs have modest FF values. How the energetic offset impacts the solar cell characteristics thus remains poorly understood. Here, a comprehensive characterization of the losses in a polymer:fullerene BHJ blend, PIPCP:phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC61BM), that achieves a high VOC (0.9 V) with very low energy losses (Eloss = 0.52 eV) from the energy of absorbed photons, a respectable JSC (13 mA cm−2), but a limited FF (54%) is reported. Despite the low energetic offset, the system does not suffer from field-dependent generation and instead it is characterized by very fast nongeminate recombination and the presence of shallow traps. The charge-carrier losses are attributed to suboptimal morphology due to high miscibility between PIPCP and PC61BM. These results hold promise that given the appropriate morphology, the JSC, VOC, and FF can all be improved, even with very low energetic offsets. To realize organic photovoltaics with high open-circuit voltages and short-circuit currents, it is necessary to minimize energetic offsets between donor and acceptor semiconductors. This article describes a comprehensive study on charge recombination and generation in a system with very low energetic offsets yet relatively high performance, in order to identify the root cause for the limited fill factor.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201701073

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