Can Ferroelectricity Improve Organic Solar Cells?

Abdu-Aguye, M., Doumon, N. Y., Terzic, I., Dong, J., Portale, G., Loos, K., Koster, L. J. A. & Loi, M. A., 5-May-2020, In : Macromolecular Rapid Communications. 8 p., 2000124.

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Blends of semiconducting (SC) and ferroelectric (FE) polymers have been proposed for applications in resistive memories and organic photovoltaics (OPV). For OPV, the rationale is that the local electric field associated with the dipoles in a blend could aid exciton dissociation, thus improving power conversion efficiency. However, FE polymers either require solvents or processing steps that are incompatible with those required for SC polymers. To overcome this limitation, SC (poly(3-hexylthiophene)) and FE (poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene)) components are incorporated into a block copolymer and thus a path to a facile fabrication of smooth thin films from suitably chosen solvents is achieved. In this work, the photophysical properties and device performance of organic solar cells containing the aforementioned block copolymer consisting of poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene): P(VDF-TrFE), poly(3-hexylthiophene): P3HT and the electron acceptor phenyl-C-61-butyric acid methyl ester: [60]PCBM are explored. A decrease in photovoltaic performance is observed in blends of the copolymer with P3HT:[60]PCBM, which is attributed to a less favorable nanomorphology upon addition of the copolymer. The role of lithium fluoride (the cathode modification layer) is also clarified in devices containing the copolymer, and it is demonstrated that ferroelectric compensation prevents the ferroelectricity of the copolymer from improving photovoltaic performance in SC-FE blends.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000124
Number of pages8
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Publication statusPublished - 5-May-2020


  • ferroelectricity, organic photovoltaics, organic solar cells, PCBM, poly(3-hexylthiophene), poly(vinylidene difluoride trifluoroethylene), ACTIVE LAYER MORPHOLOGY, DIELECTRIC-CONSTANT, POLYMER, FILMS, PHOTOVOLTAICS, ORIENTATION, DERIVATIVES, COPOLYMERS

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