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Analysis and modification of defective surface aggregates on PCDTBT:PCBM solar cell blends using combined Kelvin probe, conductive and bimodal atomic force microscopy.

Beilstein journal of nanotechnology (2017-04-07)
Hanaul Noh, Alfredo J Diaz, Santiago D Solares
ABSTRACT

Organic photovoltaic systems comprising donor polymers and acceptor fullerene derivatives are attractive for inexpensive energy harvesting. Extensive research on polymer solar cells has provided insight into the factors governing device-level efficiency and stability. However, the detailed investigation of nanoscale structures is still challenging. Here we demonstrate the analysis and modification of unidentified surface aggregates. The aggregates are characterized electrically by Kelvin probe force microscopy and conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM), whereby the correlation between local electrical potential and current confirms a defective charge transport. Bimodal AFM modification confirms that the aggregates exist on top of the solar cell structure, and is used to remove them and to reveal the underlying active layer. The systematic analysis of the surface aggregates suggests that the structure consists of PCBM molecules.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Indium tin oxide coated glass slide, square, surface resistivity 8-12 Ω/sq
Sigma-Aldrich
[6,6]-Phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl ester, mixture of isomers, 99%
Sigma-Aldrich
PCDTBT