16 results found
Wu J, Cha H, Du T, et al., 2021, A Comparison of Charge Carrier Dynamics in Organic and Perovskite Solar Cells, ADVANCED MATERIALS, Vol: 34, ISSN: 0935-9648
Vasilopoulou M, Mohd Yusoff ARB, Daboczi M, et al., 2021, High efficiency blue organic light-emitting diodes with below-bandgap electroluminescence, Nature Communications, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2041-1723
Blue organic light-emitting diodes require high triplet interlayer materials, which induce large energetic barriers at the interfaces resulting in high device voltages and reduced efficiencies. Here, we alleviate this issue by designing a low triplet energy hole transporting interlayer with high mobility, combined with an interface exciplex that confines excitons at the emissive layer/electron transporting material interface. As a result, blue thermally activated delay fluorescent organic light emitting diodes with a below-bandgap turn-on voltage of 2.5 V and an external quantum efficiency of 41.2% were successfully fabricated. These devices also showed suppressed efficiency roll-off maintaining an EQE of 34.8% at 1000 cd m-2. Our approach paves the way for further progress through exploring alternative device engineering approaches instead of only focusing on the demanding synthesis of organic compounds with complex structures.
Mohapatra AA, Dong Y, Boregowda P, et al., 2021, Rational design of donor-acceptor based semiconducting copolymers with high dielectric constants, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C: Energy Conversion and Storage, Optical and Electronic Devices, Interfaces, Nanomaterials, and Hard Matter, Vol: 125, Pages: 6886-6896, ISSN: 1932-7447
The low dielectric constant of organic semiconductors limits the efficiency of organic solar cells (OSCs). In an attempt to improve the dielectric constant of conjugated polymers, we report the synthesis of three semiconducting copolymers by combining the thiophene-substituted diketopyrrolopyrrole (TDPP) monomer with three different monomeric units with varying electron donating/accepting strengths: benzodithiophene (BBT-3TEG-TDPP), TDPP (TDPP-3TEG-TDPP), and naphthalene diimide (P(gNDI-TDPP)). Among the series, BBT-3TEG-TDPP and P(gNDI-TDPP) exhibited the highest dielectric constants (∼5) at 1 MHz frequency, signifying the contribution of dipolar polarization from TEG side-chains. Furthermore, transient absorption spectroscopic studies performed on these polymers indicated low exciton diffusion length as observed in common organic semiconducting polymers. Our findings suggest that utilizing the polar side-chains enhances the dielectric constant in a frequency regime of megahertz. However, it is not sufficient to reduce the Coulombic interaction between hole and electron in excitonic solar cells.
Nikolis VC, Dong Y, Kublitski J, et al., 2020, Field Effect versus Driving Force: Charge Generation in Small-Molecule Organic Solar Cells, ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS, ISSN: 1614-6832
Dong Y, Nikolis VC, Talnack F, et al., 2020, Orientation dependent molecular electrostatics drives efficient charge generation in homojunction organic sol, Nature Communications, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2041-1723
Organic solar cells usually utilise a heterojunction between electron-donating (D) and electron-accepting (A) materials to split excitons into charges. However, the use of D-A blends intrinsically limits the photovoltage and introduces morphological instability. Here, we demonstrate that polycrystalline films of chemically identical molecules offer a promising alternative and show that photoexcitation of α-sexithiophene (α-6T) films results in efficient charge generation. This leads to α-6T based homojunction organic solar cells with an external quantum efficiency reaching up to 44% and an open-circuit voltage of 1.61 V. Morphological, photoemission, and modelling studies show that boundaries between α-6T crystalline domains with different orientations generate an electrostatic landscape with an interfacial energy offset of 0.4 eV, which promotes the formation of hybridised exciton/charge-transfer states at the interface, dissociating efficiently into free charges. Our findings open new avenues for organic solar cell design where material energetics are tuned through molecular electrostatic engineering and mesoscale structural control.
Cha H, Zheng Y, Dong Y, et al., 2020, Exciton and charge carrier dynamics in highly crystalline PTQ10:IDIC organic solar cells, Advanced Energy Materials, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1614-6832
Herein the morphology and exciton/charge carrier dynamics in bulk heterojunctions (BHJs) of the donor polymer PTQ10 and molecular acceptor IDIC are investigated. PTQ10:IDIC BHJs are shown to be particularly promising for low cost organic solar cells (OSCs). It is found that both PTQ10 and IDIC show remarkably high crystallinity in optimized BHJs, with GIWAXS data indicating pi‐pi stacking coherence lengths of up to 8 nm. Exciton‐exciton annihilation studies indicate long exciton diffusion lengths for both neat materials (19 nm for PTQ10 and 9.5 nm for IDIC), enabling efficient exciton separation with half lives of 1 and 3 ps, despite the high degree of phase segregation in this blend. Transient absorption data indicate exciton separation leads to the formation of two spectrally distinct species, assigned to interfacial charge transfer (CT) states and separated charges. CT state decay is correlated with the appearance of additional separate charges, indicating relatively efficient CT state dissociation, attributed to the high crystallinity of this blend. The results emphasize the potential for high material crystallinity to enhance charge separation and collection in OSCs, but also that long exciton diffusion lengths are likely to be essential for efficient exciton separation in such high crystallinity devices.
Schraff S, Maity S, Schleeper L, et al., 2020, All-conjugated donor-acceptor block copolymers featuring a pentafulvenyl-polyisocyanide-acceptor, Polymer Chemistry, Vol: 11, Pages: 1852-1859, ISSN: 1759-9954
We report a fulvenyl-functionalized polyisocyanide (PIC2) with a high electron mobility of μe = 10−2 cm2 V−1 s−1. PIC2 has been incorporated into block-copolymers with either regioregular poly(3-dodecylthiophene) (P3DT → P(3DT-b-IC2)) or regioregular polythiazole (PTzTHX → P(TzTHX-b-IC2)). Block copolymer batches with different block-sizes have been isolated and their properties have been studied. Fluorescence quenching in the solid state and transient absorption spectroscopy indicate energy transfer from the donor- to the acceptor block upon photo-excitation. Fabrication of proof-of-principle organic photovoltaic cells with P(3DT-b-IC2) gave cells with an open circuit voltage (VOC) of ca. 0.89 V. The aggregation behavior of P(3DT-b-IC2) from solution was also studied, which revealed self-assembly into discreet microspheres of 1–8 μm diameter, with a size distribution of 1.72 (±0.37) μm under optimized aggregation conditions.
Hamid Z, Wadsworth A, Rezasoltani E, et al., 2020, Influence of Polymer Aggregation and Liquid Immiscibility on Morphology Tuning by Varying Composition in PffBT4T-2DT/Nonfullerene Organic Solar Cells, ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1614-6832
Corby S, Pastor E, Dong Y, et al., 2019, Charge separation, band-bending, and recombination in WO3 photoanodes, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Vol: 10, Pages: 5395-5401, ISSN: 1948-7185
In metal oxide-based photoelectrochemical devices, the spatial separation of photogenerated electrons and holes is typically attributed to band-bending at the oxide/electrolyte interface. However, direct evidence of such band-bending impacting upon charge carrier lifetimes has been very limited to date. Herein we use ultrafast spectroscopy to track the rapid relaxation of holes in the space-charge layer and their recombination with trapped electrons in WO3 photoanodes. We observe that applied bias can significantly increase carrier lifetimes on all time scales from picoseconds to seconds and attribute this to enhanced band-bending correlated with changes in oxygen vacancy state occupancy. We show that analogous enhancements in carrier lifetimes can be obtained by changes in electrolyte composition, even in the absence of applied bias, highlighting routes to improve photoconversion yields/performance, through changes in band-bending. This study thus demonstrates the direct connection between carrier lifetime enhancement, increased band-bending, and oxygen vacancy defect state occupancy.
Cha H, Fish G, Luke J, et al., 2019, Suppression of Recombination Losses in Polymer:Nonfullerene Acceptor Organic Solar Cells due to Aggregation Dependence of Acceptor Electron Affinity, ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1614-6832
Yang W, Godin R, Kasap H, et al., 2019, Electron accumulation induces efficiency bottleneck for hydrogen production in carbon nitride photocatalysts, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol: 141, Pages: 11219-11229, ISSN: 1520-5126
This study addresses the light intensity dependence of charge accumulation in a photocatalyst suspension, and its impact on both charge recombination kinetics and steady-state H2 evolution efficiency. Cyanamide surface functionalized melon-type carbon nitride (NCNCNx) has been selected as an example of emerging carbon nitrides photocatalysts because of its excellent charge storage ability. Transient spectroscopic studies (from ps to s) show that the bimolecular recombination of photogenerated electrons and holes in NCNCNx can be well described by a random walk model. Remarkably, the addition of hole scavengers such as 4-methylbenzyl alcohol can lead to ∼400-fold faster recombination kinetics (lifetime shortening to ∼10 ps). We show that this acceleration is not the direct result of ultrafast hole extraction by the scavenger, but is rather caused by long-lived electron accumulation in NCNCNx after hole extraction. The dispersive pseudo-first order recombination kinetics become controlled by the density of accumulated electrons. H2 production and steady-state spectroscopic measurements indicate that the accelerated recombination caused by electron accumulation limits the H2 generation efficiency. The addition of a reversible electron acceptor and mediator, methyl viologen (MV2+), accelerates the extraction of electrons from the NCNCNx and increases the H2 production efficiency under one sun irradiation by more than 30%. These results demonstrate quantitatively that while long-lived electrons are essential to drive photoinduced H2 generation in many photocatalysts, excessive electron accumulation may result in accelerated recombination losses and lower performance, and thus highlight the importance of efficient electron and hole extraction in enabling efficient water splitting photocatalysts.
Wadsworth A, Bristow H, Hamid Z, et al., 2019, End Group Tuning in Acceptor–Donor–Acceptor Nonfullerene Small Molecules for High Fill Factor Organic Solar Cells, Advanced Functional Materials, Pages: 1808429-1808429, ISSN: 1616-301X
Dimitrov SD, Azzouzi M, Wu J, et al., 2019, Spectroscopic investigation of the effect of microstructure and energetic offset on the nature of interfacial charge transfer states in polymer: fullerene blends, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol: 141, Pages: 4634-4643, ISSN: 0002-7863
Despite performance improvements of organic photovoltaics, the mechanism of photoinduced electron-hole separation at organic donor-acceptor interfaces remains poorly understood. Inconclusive experimental and theoretical results have produced contradictory models for electron-hole separation in which the role of interfacial charge-transfer (CT) states is unclear, with one model identifying them as limiting separation and another as readily dissociating. Here, polymer-fullerene blends with contrasting photocurrent properties and enthalpic offsets driving separation were studied. By modifying composition, film structures were varied from consisting of molecularly mixed polymer-fullerene domains to consisting of both molecularly mixed and fullerene domains. Transient absorption spectroscopy revealed that CT state dissociation generating separated electron-hole pairs is only efficient in the high energy offset blend with fullerene domains. In all other blends (with low offset or predominantly molecularly mixed domains), nanosecond geminate electron-hole recombination is observed revealing the importance of spatially localized electron-hole pairs (bound CT states) in the electron-hole dynamics. A two-dimensional lattice exciton model was used to simulate the excited state spectrum of a model system as a function of microstructure and energy offset. The results could reproduce the main features of experimental electroluminescence spectra indicating that electron-hole pairs become less bound and more spatially separated upon increasing energy offset and fullerene domain density. Differences between electroluminescence and photoluminescence spectra could be explained by CT photoluminescence being dominated by more-bound states, reflecting geminate recombination processes, while CT electroluminescence preferentially probes less-bound CT states that escape geminate recombination. These results suggest that apparently contradictory studies on electron-hole separation can be exp
Dong Y, Cha H, Zhang J, et al., 2019, The binding energy and dynamics of charge-transfer states in organic photovoltaics with low driving force for charge separation, Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol: 150, ISSN: 0021-9606
Recent progress in organic photovoltaics (OPVs) has been enabled by optimization of the energetic driving force for charge separation, and thus maximization of open-circuit voltage, using non-fullerene acceptor (NFA) materials. In spite of this, the carrier dynamics and relative energies of the key states controlling the photophysics of these systems are still under debate. Herein, we report an in-depth ultrafast spectroscopic study of a representative OPV system based on a polymer donor PffBT4T-2OD and a small-molecule NFA EH-IDTBR. Global analysis of the transient absorption data reveals efficient energy transfer between donor and acceptor molecules. The extracted kinetics suggest that slow (∼15 ps) generation of charge carriers is followed by significant geminate recombination. This contrasts with the "reference" PffBT4T-2OD:PC71BM system where bimolecular recombination dominates. Using temperature-dependent pump-push-photocurrent spectroscopy, we estimate the activation energy for the dissociation of bound charge-transfer states in PffBT4T-2OD:EH-IDTBR to be 100 ± 6 meV. We also observe an additional activation energy of 14 ± 7 meV, which we assign to the de-trapping of mobile carriers. This work provides a comprehensive picture of photophysics in a system representing new generation of OPV blends with a small driving force for charge separation.
Becker-Koch D, Rivkin B, Paulus F, et al., 2019, Probing charge transfer states at organic and hybrid internal interfaces by photothermal deflection spectroscopy, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, Vol: 31, ISSN: 0953-8984
In organic and hybrid photovoltaic devices, the asymmetry required for charge separation necessitates the use of a donor and an acceptor material, resulting in the formation of internal interfaces in the device active layer. While the core objective of these interfaces is to facilitate charge separation, bound states between electrons and holes may form across them, resulting in a loss mechanism that diminishes the performance of the solar cells. These interfacial transitions appear in organic systems as charge transfer (CT) states and as bound charge pairs (BCP) in hybrid systems. Despite being similar, the latter are far less investigated. Herein, we employ photothermal deflection spectroscopy and pump-push-probe experiments in order to determine the characteristics and dynamics of interfacial states in two model systems: an organic P3HT:PCBM and hybrid P3HT:ZnO photovoltaic layer. By controlling the area of the internal interface, we identify CT states between 1.4 eV and 1.8 eV in the organic bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) and BCP between 1.1 eV and 1.4 eV in the hybrid BHJ. The energetic distribution of these states suggests that they not only contribute to losses in photocurrent, but also significantly limit the possible maximum open circuit voltage obtainable from these devices.
Cha H, Tan C-H, Wu J, et al., 2018, An analysis of the factors determining the efficiency of photocurrent generation in polymer:nonfullerene acceptor solar cells, Advanced Energy Materials, Vol: 8, ISSN: 1614-6832
Herein, a meta‐analysis of the device performance and transient spectroscopic results are undertaken for various donor:acceptor blends, employing three different donor polymers and seven different acceptors including nonfullerene acceptors (NFAs). From this analysis, it is found that the primary determinant of device external quantum efficiency (EQE) is the energy offset driving interfacial charge separation, ΔECS. For devices employing the donor polymer PffBT4T blended with NFA and fullerene acceptors, an energy offset ΔECS = 0.30 eV is required to achieve near unity charge separation, which increases for blends with PBDTTT‐EFT and P3HT to 0.36 and ≈1.2 eV, respectively. For blends with PffBT4T and PBDTTT‐EFT, a 100 meV decrease in the LUMO of the acceptor is observed to result in an approximately twofold increase in EQE. Steady state and transient optical data determine that this energy offset requirement is not associated with the need to overcome the polymer exciton binding energy and thereby drive exciton separation, with all blends studied showing efficient exciton separation. Rather, the increase in EQE with larger energy offset is shown to result from suppression of geminate recombination losses. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for the design of donor/NFA interfaces in organic solar cells, and strategies to achieve further advances in device performance.
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