Cheng Wang, Francisco Molina-Lopez, Yikun Guo, Yunke Li, Zhenan Bao, He Yan, Xiaodan Gu, Stefan C. B. Mannsfeld, Hongping Yan, Yan Zhou, Kevin Gu, Dahui Zhao, Christopher J. Tassone, Haoran Lin, Tadanori Kurosawa, Michael F. Toney, Bob C. Schroeder
The challenge of continuous printing in high-efficiency large-area organic solar cells is a key limiting factor for their widespread adoption. A materials design concept for achieving large-area, solution-coated all-polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells with stable phase separation morphology between the donor and acceptor is presented. The key concept lies in inhibiting strong crystallization of donor and acceptor polymers, thus forming intermixed, low crystallinity, and mostly amorphous blends. Based on experiments using donors and acceptors with different degree of crystallinity, the results show that microphase separated donor and acceptor domain sizes are inversely proportional to the crystallinity of the conjugated polymers. This methodology of using low crystallinity donors and acceptors has the added benefit of forming a consistent and robust morphology that is insensitive to different processing conditions, allowing one to easily scale up the printing process from a small-scale solution shearing coater to a large-scale continuous roll-to-roll (R2R) printer. Large-area all-polymer solar cells are continuously roll-to-roll slot die printed with power conversion efficiencies of 5%, with combined cell area up to 10 cm2. This is among the highest efficiencies realized with R2R-coated active layer organic materials on flexible substrate.
The morphology formation of different all-polymer solar cells during the coating process is investigated and that a low crystalline donor and acceptor polymer blend has stable morphology between the various coating methods is identified. Large-area all-polymer solar cells are continuously roll-to-roll slot die printed with power conversion efficiencies of 5%, with combined cell area up to 10 cm2.