Molecular understanding of the open-circuit voltage of polymer:Fullerene solar cells

Shunsuke Yamamoto, Akiko Orimo, Hideo Ohkita, Hiroaki Benten, Shinzaburo Ito

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96 Citations (Scopus)


The origin of open-circuit voltage (V OC) was studied for polymer solar cells based on a blend of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and seven fullerene derivatives with different LUMO energy levels and side chains. The temperature dependence of J-V characteristics was analyzed by an equivalent circuit model. As a result, V OC increased with the decrease in the saturation current density J 0 of the device. Furthermore, J 0 was dependent on the activation energy E A for J 0, which is related to the HOMO-LUMO energy gap between P3HT and fullerene. Interestingly, the pre-exponential term J 00 for J 0 was larger for pristine fullerenes than for substituted fullerene derivatives, suggesting that the electronic coupling between molecules also has substantial impact on V OC. This is probably because the recombination is non-diffusion-lmilited reaction depending on electron transfer at the P3HT/fullerene interface. In summary, the origin of V OC is ascribed not only to the relative HOMO-LUMO energy gap but also to the electronic couplings between fullerene/fullerene and polymer/fullerene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb


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