Understanding Morphology Compatibility for High-Performance Ternary Organic Solar Cells

Jiangquan Mai, Tsz Ki Lau, Jun Li, Shih Hao Peng, Chain-Shu Hsu, U. Ser Jeng, Jianrong Zeng, Ni Zhao, Xudong Xiao, Xinhui Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Ternary organic solar cells are emerging as a promising strategy to enhance device power conversion efficiency by broadening the range of light absorption via the incorporation of additional light-absorbing components. However, how to find compatible materials that allow comparable loadings of each component remains a challenge. In this article, we focus on studying the donor polymer compatibilities in ternary systems from a morphological point of view. Four typical donor polymers with different chemical structures and absorption ranges were mutually combined to form six distinct ternary systems with fullerene derivative acceptors. Two compatible ternary systems were identified as showing significant improvements of efficiency from both binary control devices. Ternary morphologies were characterized by grazing incident X-ray scattering and correlated with device performance. We find that polymers that have strong lamellar interactions and relatively similar phase separation behaviors with the fullerene derivative are more likely to be compatible in ternary systems. This result provides guidance for polymer selection for future ternary organic solar cell research while relaxing the limitation of chemical structure similarity and greatly extends the donor candidate pool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6186-6195
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number17
StatePublished - 13 Sep 2016

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