Regulating the vertical phase distribution by fullerene-derivative in high performance ternary organic solar cells

Pengqing Bi, Tong Xiao, Xiaoyu Yang, Mengsi Niu, Zhenchuan Wen, Kangning Zhang, Wei Qin, Shu Kong SO, Guanghao Lu*, Xiaotao Hao, Hong Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)


The vertical phase distribution of components in bulk heterojunction is diversified in organic solar cells (OSCs). The electron donors (acceptors) can be accumulated (depleted) at the interface of active layer and charge extraction layer. The variation of vertical phase distribution significantly influences device performance because of its impact on the charge transport and charge recombination. In order to achieve favorable vertical phase distribution in OSCs based on poly[(2,6-(4,8-bis(5-(2-ethylhexyl)thiophen-2-yl)benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene))-co-(1,3-di(5-thiophene-2-yl)–5,7-bis(2-ethylhexyl) benzo[1,2-c:4,5-c′]dithiophene-4,8-dione)] (PBDB-T):3,9-bis(2-methylene-(3-(1,1-dicyanomethylene)-indanone))−5,5,11,11-tetrakis(4-hexylphenyl)-dithieno[2,3-d:2′,3′-d′]-s-indaceno[1,2-b:5,6-b′]-dithiophene (ITIC), phenyl-C71-butyric-acid-methyl ester (PC71BM) was incorporated into the binary system to fabricate ternary OSCs. In the ternary blend, PC71BM can effectively regulate the phase distribution of PBDB-T and ITIC in vertical direction, which provides favorable vertical phase distribution for charge transport. Moreover, the addition of PC71BM can also effectively increase the π-π stacking coherence length of both donor and acceptor, which facilitates charge transport and reduces the bimolecular recombination. The addition of an appropriate quantity of PC71BM can obviously improve both fill factor and short-circuit current density of the OSC based on PBDB-T:ITIC while open-circuit voltage reduces only about 0.01 V, which indicates a rational low energy loss. Consequently, the ternary OSC exhibits a best PCE of 11.0% compared to the 9.6% PCE of the binary counterpart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

User-Defined Keywords

  • Charge transport
  • Non-fullerene acceptor
  • Ternary organic solar cells
  • Vertical phase distribution


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