All-polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells with high fill factors based on blends of poly-3-hexylthiophene: poly(perylene diimide-alt-terthiophene)


The photovoltaic characteristics of all polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells made of P3HT and a perylene diimide-based copolymer (PEK3) have been studied. Thermal annealing is needed to improve the performances. Annealing optimization induces an enhancement of the power conversion efficiency from 0.06 to 1%, Jsc from 0.24 to 2.9 mA/cm2 and FF from 0.32 to 0.59. The origin of such improvements has been investigated by studying the P3HT:PEK3 blend morphology, by means of absorption and emission spectroscopy and charge transport, from single carrier measurements on P3HT:PEK3 diodes. Upon annealing we have observed an increase in phase segregation and a 100-fold enhancement of the hole and electron mobilities, that favor the dissociation of bound electron-hole pairs and their transport to the electrodes. This explains the high FF of the annealed P3HT:PEK3 solar cell.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    S.C. Veenstra, J. Loos, J.M. Kroon, Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 15, 727 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    C.R. McNeill, A. Abrusci, J. Zaumseil, R. Wilson, M.J. McKiernan, J.J.M. Halls, N.C. Greenham, R.H. Friend, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 193506 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Z.A. Tan, E.J. Zhou, X.W. Zhan, X. Wang, Y.F. Li, S. Barlow and S.R. Marder, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 073309 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    E. Zhou, J. Cong, Q. Wei, K. Tajima, C. Yang, K. Hashimoto, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 1 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    M. Lenes, M. Morana, C.J. Brabec, P.W.M. Blom, Adv. Funct. Mater. 19, 1106 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    X.W. Zhan, Z.A. Tan, E.J. Zhou, Y.F. Li, R. Misra, A. Grant, B. Domercq, X-H. Zhang, Z.S. An, X. Zhang, S. Barlow, B. Kippelen and S.R. Marder, J. Mater. Chem. 19, 5794 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    E. Kozma, D. Kotowski, F. Bertini, S. Luzzati, M. Catellani, Polymer 51, 2264 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    S.K. Hau, H-L. Yip, O. Acton, N.S. Baek, H. Ma, A.K.-Y. Jen, J. Mater. Chem. 18, 5113 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    S. Fabiano, Z. Chen, S. Vahedi, A. Facchetti, B. Pignataro, M.A. Loi, J. Mater. Chem. 21, 5891 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    M. Sundberg, O. Inganäs, S. Stafström, G. Gustafsson, B. Sjögren, Solid State Commun 6, 435 (1989).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    P.N. Murgatroyd, J.Phys.D: Appl.Phys. 3, 151 (1970).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    V.D. Mihailetchi, H. Xie, B. de Boer, L.J.A. Koster, P.W.M. Blom, Adv. Funct. Mater. 16, 699 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    V.D. Mihailetchi, L.J.A. Koster, P.W.M. Blom, C. Melzer, B. de Boer, J.K.J. van Duren, R.A.J. Janssen, Adv. Funct. Mater. 15, 795 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    M-F. Falzon, M.M. Wienk, R.A.J. Janssen, J. Phys. Chem. C, 115, 3178 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    A.R. Campbell, J.M. Hodgkiss, S. Westenhoff, I.A. Howard, R.A. Marsh, Ch.R. McNeill, R.H. Friend, N.C. Greenham, Nano Lett. 8, 11 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    P. Mark, W. Helfrich, J. Appl. Phys. 33, 205 (1962).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The research was supported by the EU Marie Curie ERG project “Damasco”, PERG07-GA-2010-268229 and by CARIPLO Foundation grant no. 2008.2393.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dariusz Kotowski.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kotowski, D., Kozma, E., Catellani, M. et al. All-polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells with high fill factors based on blends of poly-3-hexylthiophene: poly(perylene diimide-alt-terthiophene). MRS Online Proceedings Library 1390, 00788 (2012).

Download citation