ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2019, vol 11, 45, pp. 42313-42321
Printing of active layers of high-efficiency organic solar cells and morphology control by processing with varying solvent additive concentrations are important to realize real-world use of bulk-heterojunction photovoltaics as it enables both up-scaling and optimization of the device performance. In this work, active layers of the conjugated polymer with benzodithiophene units PBDB-T-SF and the nonfullerene small molecule acceptor IT-4F are printed using meniscus guided slot-die coating. 1,8-Diiodooctane (DIO) is added to optimize the power conversion efficiency (PCE). The effect on the inner nanostructure and surface morphology of the material is studied for different solvent additive concentrations with grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS), grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Optical properties are studied with photoluminescence (PL), UV/vis absorption spectroscopy, and external quantum efficiency (EQE) measurements and correlated to the corresponding PCEs. The addition of 0.25 vol % DIO enhances the average PCE from 3.5 to 7.9%, whereas at higher concentrations the positive effect is less pronounced. A solar cell performance of 8.95% is obtained for the best printed device processed with an optimum solvent additive concentration. Thus, with the large-scale preparation method printing similarly well working solar cells can be realized as with the spin-coating method.