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Morphological characterization of plastic solar cells using polarized neutron reflectivity
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Thermal annealing is known to significantly improve the photovoltaic performance of poly(3-hexylthiophene) and phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT:PCBM) bulk heterojunction solar cells. We have used polarized neutron reflectometry to compare the PCBM depth profiles of the same P3HT:PCBM film before and after annealing at conditions know to improve the photovoltaic efficiencies of similarly prepared devices. Contrary to previous findings, annealing is shown to have little effect on the vertical PCBM concentration profile. We attribute the improved efficiency from thermal annealing to increased P3HT crystallinity and/or change in crystal orientation, which inhibits exciton recombination.
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