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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Chris Groves

Luria, J.L., Hoepker, N., Bruce, R., Jacobs, A.R., Groves, C. & Marohn, J.A. (2012). Spectroscopic Imaging of Photopotentials and Potential Fluctuations in a Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cell Film. ACS Nano 6(11): 9392-9401.

Author(s) from Durham


We present spatially resolved photovoltage spectra of a bulk heterojunction solar cell film composed of phase-separated poly(9,9′-dioctylfluorene-co-benzothiadiazole) (F8BT) and poly(9,9′-dioctylfluorene-co-bis-N,N′-(4-butylphenyl)-bis-N,N′-phenyl-1,4-phenylenediamine) (PFB) polymers prepared on ITO/PEDOT:PSS and aluminum substrates. Over both PFB- and F8BT-rich domains, the photopotential spectra were found to be proportional to a linear combination of the polymers’ absorption spectra. Charge trapping in the film was studied using photopotential fluctuation spectroscopy, in which low-frequency photoinduced electrostatic potential fluctuations were measured by observing noise in the oscillation frequency of a nearby charged atomic force microscope cantilever. Over both F8BT- and PFB-rich regions, the magnitude, distance dependence, frequency dependence, and illumination wavelength dependence of the observed cantilever frequency noise are consistent with photopotential fluctuations arising from stochastic light-driven trapping and detrapping of charges in F8BT. Taken together, our findings suggest a microscopic mechanism by which intermixing of phases leads to charge trapping and thereby to suppressed open-circuit voltage and decreased efficiency in this prototypical bulk heterojunction solar cell film.