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Efficiency Enhancement In Low-bandgap Polymer Solar Cells By Processing With Alkane Dithiols.

J. Peet, J. Kim, N. Coates, W. Ma, D. Moses, A. Heeger, G. Bazan
Published 2007 · Materials Science, Medicine

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High charge-separation efficiency combined with the reduced fabrication costs associated with solution processing and the potential for implementation on flexible substrates make 'plastic' solar cells a compelling option for tomorrow's photovoltaics. Attempts to control the donor/acceptor morphology in bulk heterojunction materials as required for achieving high power-conversion efficiency have, however, met with limited success. By incorporating a few volume per cent of alkanedithiols in the solution used to spin-cast films comprising a low-bandgap polymer and a fullerene derivative, the power-conversion efficiency of photovoltaic cells (air-mass 1.5 global conditions) is increased from 2.8% to 5.5% through altering the bulk heterojunction morphology. This discovery can potentially enable morphological control in bulk heterojunction materials where thermal annealing is either undesirable or ineffective.
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J.P. thanks the NDSEG fellowship for support. The authors thank J. Yuen for thin-film transistor substrate preparation and Tom Mates for assistance with XPS measurement and analysis. We thank
Terrestrial Reference Spectra for Photovoltaic Performance Evaluation (American Society for Testing Materials
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Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to M.L.L. (email:



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