Nano-pathways: Bridging the divide between water-processable nanoparticulate and bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaics

Natalie Holmes, Melissa Marks, Pakaj Kumar, Renee Kroon, Matthew Barr, Nicolas Nicolaidis, Krishna Feron, Almantas Pivrikas, Adam Fahy, Amaia Mendaza, A.L. Kilcoyne, Christian Muller, Xiaojing Zhou, Mats R. Andersson, Paul Dastoor, Warwick Belcher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    74 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)495-510
    Number of pages16
    JournalNano Engergy
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


    • Blend morphology
    • Glass transition temperature
    • Nanoparticle
    • Organic photovoltaic
    • Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy
    • Water processable solar cells


    Dive into the research topics of 'Nano-pathways: Bridging the divide between water-processable nanoparticulate and bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this