Crystallinity and morphology effects on a solvent-processed solar cell using a triarylamine-substituted squaraine

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014 Jul 23;6(14):11376-84. doi: 10.1021/am501965d. Epub 2014 Jul 14.


2,4-Bis[4'-(N,N-di(4″-hydroxyphenyl)amino)-2',6'-dihydroxyphenyl]squaraine (Sq-TAA-OH, optical bandgap 1.4 eV, HOMO level -5.3 eV by ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy) is used as an active layer material in solution processed, bulk-heterojunction organic photovoltaic cells with configuration ITO/PEDOT:PSS/Sq-TAA-OH:PC71BM/LiF/Al. Power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) up to 4.8% are obtained by a well-reproducible procedure using a mixture of good and poor Sq-TAA-OH solubilizing organic solvents, with diiodooctane (DIO) additive to make a bulk heterojunction layer, followed by thermal annealing, to give optimized V(OC) = 0.84-0.86 V, J(SC) = 10 mA cm(-2), and FF = 0.53. X-ray diffraction and scattering studies of pristine, pure Sq-TAA-OH solution-cast films show d-spacing features similar to single-crystal packing and spacing. The DIO additive in a good solvent/poor solvent mixture apparently broadens the size distribution of Sq-TAA-OH crystallites in pristine films, but thermal annealing provides a narrower size distribution. Direct X-ray diffraction and scattering morphological studies of "as-fabricated" active layers show improved Sq-TAA-OH/PC71BM phase separation and formation of crystallites, ∼48 nm in size, under conditions that give the best PCE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.