Enhanced thermal stability of a polymer solar cell blend induced by electron beam irradiation in the transmission electron microscope
Journal article, 2017

We show by in situ microscopy that the effects of electron beam irradiation during transmission electron microscopy can be used to lock microstructural features and enhance the structural thermal stability of a nanostructured polymer:fullerene blend. Polymer:fullerene bulk-heterojunction thin films show great promise for use as active layers in organic solar cells but their low thermal stability is a hindrance. Lack of thermal stability complicates manufacturing and influences the lifetime of devices. To investigate how electron irradiation affects the thermal stability of polymer:fullerene films, a model bulk-heterojunction film based on a thiophene-quinoxaline copolymer and a fullerene derivative was heat-treated in-situ in a transmission electron microscope. In areas of the film that exposed to the electron beam the nanostructure of the film remained stable, while the nanostructure in areas not exposed to the electron beam underwent large phase separation and nucleation of fullerene crystals. UV–vis spectroscopy shows that the polymer:fullerene films are stable for electron doses up to 2000 kGy.

Electron irradiation. In-situ transmission electron microscopy

Organic solar cells

Thermal stability

Crosslinking

Author

Olof Bäcke

Chalmers, Physics, Eva Olsson Group

Camilla Lindqvist

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Polymer Technology

Amaia Diaz de Zerio Mendaza

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Polymer Technology

Stefan Gustafsson

Chalmers, Physics, Eva Olsson Group

Ergang Wang

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Polymer Technology

Mats Andersson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Polymer Technology

Christian Müller

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Polymer Technology

Per Magnus Kristiansen

Paul Scherrer Institut

University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, School of Enginnering

Eva Olsson

Chalmers, Physics, Eva Olsson Group

Ultramicroscopy

0304-3991 (ISSN)

Vol. 173 16-23

Subject Categories

Polymer Chemistry

DOI

10.1016/j.ultramic.2016.11.017

More information

Latest update

4/11/2018