F. Laquai, D. Andrienko, R. Mauer, and P.W.M. Blom,
Macromol.Rap. Comm., 36 (11), 1001-1025, (2015)
Poly(3-hexylthiophene), Charge recombination, Charge transport, DFT calculations, Organic solar cells
This article reviews the charge transport and photogeneration in bulk-heterojunction solar cells made from blend films of regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (RR-P3HT) and methanofullerene (PCBM). The charge transport, specifically the hole mobility in the RR-P3HT phase of the polymer:fullerene photovoltaic blend, is dramatically affected by thermal annealing. The hole mobility increases more than three orders of magnitude and reaches a value of up to 2 × 10−4 cm2 V−1 s−1 after the thermal annealing process as a result of an improved semi-crystallinity of the film. This significant increase of the hole mobility balances the electron and hole mobilities in a photovoltaic blend in turn reducing space-charge formation, and this is the most important factor for the strong enhancement of the photovoltaic efficiency compared to an as cast, that is, non-annealed device. In fact, the balanced charge carrier mobility in RR-P3HT:PCBM blends in combination with a field- and temperature-independent charge carrier generation and greatly reduced non-geminate recombination explains the large quantum efficiencies measured in P3HT:PCBM photovoltaic devices.