In situ current voltage measurements for optimization of a novel fullerene acceptor in bulk heterojunction photovoltaics

Shuttle, C.G.; Treat, N.D.; Fan, J.; Varotto, A.; Hawker, C.J.; Wudl, F.; Chabinyc, M.L.
, J. Polym. Sci. Polym. Phys.,
, 50, 174-179.

The evaluation of the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of new materials for organic bulk heterojunction (BHJ) photovoltaics is difficult due to the large number of processing parameters possible. An efficient procedure to determine the optimum conditions for thermal treatment of polymer-based bulk heterojunction photovoltaic devices using in situ current-voltage measurements is presented. The performance of a new fullerene derivative, 1,9-dihydro-64,65-dihexyloxy-1,9-(methano[1,2] benzomethano)fullerene[60], in BHJ photovolatics with poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) was evaluated using this methodology. The device characteristics of BHJs obtained from the in situ method were found to be in good agreement with those from BHJs annealed using a conventional process. This fullerene has similar performance to 1-(3-methoxycarbonyl)propyl-1-phenyl-[6,6]-methano fullerene in BHJs with P3HT after thermal annealing. For devices with thickness of 70 nm, the short circuit current was 6.24 mA/cm2 with a fill factor of 0.53 and open circuit voltage of 0.65 V. The changes in the current-voltage measurements during thermal annealing suggest that the ordering process in P3HT dominates the improvement in power conversion efficiency.