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Understanding the relationship between morphology and device performance in organic solar cells

posted on 24.02.2017 by Huang, Wenchao
Due to the rapidly increasing demand for clean energy, harnessing solar energy has been considered to be a promising way to solve the impending energy crisis. Among the various photovoltaic technologies, organic photovoltaics (OPV) are continuing to receive intensive interest with power conversion efficiencies of over 10% demonstrated recently. Solution processed organic solar cells have unique prospects for achieving low-cost energy harvesting via continuous roll-to-roll processing. A key requirement for fabricating high efficiency organic solar cells is the control of the thin-film morphology to facilitate efficient charge separation and collection. The active layer of an OPV device is based on a bulk heterojunction structure, consisting of an interpenetrating network of electron donor and electron acceptor. In this thesis, the application of a combination of synchrotron-based techniques enables a detailed characterization of polymer blend solar cells, providing an understanding of the relationship between the thin-film morphology and device performance. In particular, the effects of different thin-film treatments such as thermal annealing, anti-solvent treatment and the use of solvent additive to tune the blend morphology for optimized device performance are assessed.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Yi-Bing Cheng

Additional supervisor 1

Chris McNeill

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Materials Science and Engineering


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Engineering