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6 March 2013 Effects of nanostructure geometry on polymer chain alignment and device performance in nanoimprinted polymer solar cell
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Among the various organic photovoltaic devices, the conjugated polymer/fullerene approach has drawn the most research interest. The performance of these types of solar cells is greatly determined by the nanoscale morphology of the two components (donor/acceptor) and the molecular orientation/crystallinity in the photoactive layer. This article demonstrates our recent studies on the nanostructure geometry effects on the nanoimprint induced poly(3 hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) chain alignment and photovoltaic performance. Out-of-plane and in-plane grazing incident X-ray diffractions are employed to characterize the chain orientations in P3HT nanogratings with different widths and heights. It is found that nanoimprint procedure changes the initial edge-on alignment in non-imprinted P3HT thin film to a vertical orientation which favors the hole transport, with an organization height H≥ 170 nm and width in the range of 60 nm≤ W< 210 nm. Samples with better aligned molecules lead to a larger crystallite sizes as well. Imprinted P3HT/[6,6]-penyl-C61-butyric-acid-methyl-ester (PCBM) solar cells show an increase in power conversion efficiency (PCE) with the decrease of nanostructure width, and with the increase of height and junction area. Devices with the highest PCE are made by the fully aligned and highest P3HT nanostructures (width w= 60 nm, height h= 170 nm), allowing for the most efficient charge separation, transport and light absorption. We believe this work will contribute to the optimal geometry design of nanoimprinted polymer solar cells.
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Yi Yang, Kamil Mielczarek, Anvar Zakhidov, and Walter Hu "Effects of nanostructure geometry on polymer chain alignment and device performance in nanoimprinted polymer solar cell", Proc. SPIE 8622, Organic Photonic Materials and Devices XV, 862211 (6 March 2013);

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