Understanding the phase separation of multicomponent organic solar cell heterojunction blends

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Chemistry


The project investigates the molecular and bulk parameters responsible for the morphology of thin films comprised of two or more components. Detailed studies of crystallisation, thermal properties, solubility and other parameters are used to elucidate thin film morphology.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512540/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2022
2033238 Studentship EP/R512540/1 01/10/2017 30/06/2019 Zeinab Hamid
Description The work achieved exemplifies how simple phase behavior measurements can be used to obtain an in-depth understanding of morphology control in binary polymer/small molecule active layers in organic solar cells. These measurements rely on a thermal characterization technique called differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The novelty of the work lies in its reliance on basic understanding of phase diagrams and thermodynamic principles to outline property/performance relationships which can guide choice of material and of processing conditions. While far from quantitative, the advantage of DSC over other, more quantitative, techniques is its simplicity and ease of access.
Exploitation Route The work can be taken further in the research community by exploring the relationship between phase behavior and morphology engineering in other systems (e.g. different combinations of crystalline/amorphous materials), in order to broaden the relevance of the method suggested. This is closely related to ongoing efforts focused on rational selection of both materials and processing strategies at the earliest stages of the the morphology 'design' process. The work also discusses how the outcomes reached can be refined using other techniques (e.g. fast-scanning calorimetry).
As exemplified in the work performed, the method used, and which relies on differential scanning calorimetry, can also be used by industry specialists in organic photovoltaics to guide active layer material selection and design.
Sectors Electronics,Energy