Importance of Electric-Field-Independent Mobilities in Thick-Film Organic Solar Cells
Ho, C. H. Y., Pei, Y., Qin, Y., Zhang, C., Peng, Z., Angunawela, I., … So, F. (2022, October 11). ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES.
In organic solar cells (OSCs), a thick active layer usually yields a higher photocurrent with broader optical absorption than a thin active layer. In fact, a ∼300 nm thick active layer is more compatible with large-area processing methods and theoretically should be a better spot for efficiency optimization. However, the bottleneck of developing high-efficiency thick-film OSCs is the loss in fill factor (FF). The origin of the FF loss is not clearly understood, and there a direct method to identify photoactive materials for high-efficiency thick-film OSCs is lacking. Here, we demonstrate that the mobility field-dependent coefficient is an important parameter directly determining the FF loss in thick-film OSCs. Simulation results based on the drift–diffusion model reveal that a mobility field-dependent coefficient smaller than 10–3 (V/cm)−1/2 is required to maintain a good FF in thick-film devices. To confirm our simulation results, we studied the performance of two ternary bulk heterojunction (BHJ) blends, PTQ10:N3:PC71BM and PM6:N3:PC71BM. We found that the PTQ10 blend film has weaker field-dependent mobilities, giving rise to a more balanced electron–hole transport at low fields. While both the PM6 blend and PTQ10 blend yield good performance in thin-film devices (∼100 nm), only the PTQ10 blend can retain a FF = 74% with an active layer thickness of up to 300 nm. Combining the benefits of a higher JSC in thick-film devices, we achieved a PCE of 16.8% in a 300 nm thick PTQ10:N3:PC71BM OSC. Such a high FF in the thick-film PTQ10 blend is also consistent with the observation of lower charge recombination from light-intensity-dependent measurements and lower energetic disorder observed in photothermal deflection spectroscopy.