Here we report the application of a conjugated copolymer based on thiophene and quinoxaline units, namely poly[2,3-bis-(3-octyloxyphenyl)quinoxaline-5,8-diyl-alt-thiophene-2,5-diyl] (TQ1), to nanoparticle organic photovoltaics (NP-OPVs). TQ1 exhibits more desirable material properties for NP-OPV fabrication and operation, particularly a high glass transition temperature (T g ) and amorphous nature, compared to the commonly applied semicrystalline polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT). This study reports the optimisation of TQ1:PC 71 BM (phenyl C 71 butyric acid methyl ester) NP-OPV device performance by the application of mild thermal annealing treatments in the range of the T g (sub-T g and post-T g ), both in the active layer drying stage and post-cathode deposition annealing stage of device fabrication, and an in-depth study of the effect of these treatments on nanoparticle film morphology. In addition, we report a type of morphological evolution in nanoparticle films for OPV active layers that has not previously been observed, that of PC 71 BM nano-pathway formation between dispersed PC 71 BM-rich nanoparticle cores, which have the benefit of making the bulk film more conducive to charge percolation and extraction.
- Blend morphology
- Glass transition temperature
- Organic photovoltaic
- Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy
- Water processable solar cells