Fullerene Nucleating Agents: A Route Towards Thermally Stable Photovoltaic Blends
Journal article, 2014

The bulk-heterojunction nanostructure of non-crystalline polymer: fullerene blends has the tendency to rapidly coarsen when heated above its glass transition temperature, which represents an important degradation mechanism. We demonstrate that fullerene nucleating agents can be used to thermally arrest the nanostructure of photovoltaic blends that comprise a non-crystalline thiophene-quinoxaline copolymer and the widely used fullerene derivative [6,6]-phenyl-C-61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). To this end, C-60 fullerene is employed to efficiently nucleate PCBM crystallization. Sub-micrometer-sized fullerene crystals are formed when as little as 2 wt% C-60 with respect to PCBM is added to the blend. These reach an average size of only 200 nanometers upon introduction of more than 8 wt% C-60. Solar cells based on C-60-nucleated blends indicate significantly improved thermal stability of the bulk-heterojunction nanostructure even after annealing at an elevated temperature of 130 degrees C, which lies above the glass transition temperature of the blend. Moreover, we find that various other compounds, including C-70 fullerene, single-walled carbon nanotubes, and sodium benzoate, as well as a number of commercial nucleating agents-commonly used to clarify isotactic polypropylene-permit to control crystallization of the fullerene phase.

Author

Camilla Lindqvist

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Polymer Technology

J. Bergqvist

Linköping University

Ching-Chiao Feng

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Polymer Technology

Stefan Gustafsson

SuMo Biomaterials

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Eva Olsson Group

Olof Bäcke

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Eva Olsson Group

N. D. Treat

Imperial College London

C. Bounioux

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Patrik Henriksson

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Polymer Technology

Renee Kroon

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Polymer Technology

Ergang Wang

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Polymer Technology

Anke Sanz-Velasco

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Electronics Material and Systems Laboratory

Per Magnus Kristiansen

University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, School of Enginnering

N. Stingelin

Imperial College London

Eva Olsson

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Eva Olsson Group

Olle Inganaes

Linköping University

Mats Andersson

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Polymer Technology

Christian Müller

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Polymer Technology

Advanced Energy Materials

1614-6832 (ISSN) 1614-6840 (eISSN)

Vol. 4 9 1301437-

Areas of Advance

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (2010-2017)

Energy

Materials Science

Subject Categories

Materials Engineering

Energy Engineering

Physical Sciences

Chemical Sciences

DOI

10.1002/aenm.201301437

More information

Latest update

4/20/2018