Inter-Fullerene Electronic Coupling Controls the Efficiency of Photoinduced Charge Generation in Organic Bulk Heterojunctions

Bryon W. Larson, Obadiah G. Reid, David C. Coffey, Stanislav M. Avdoshenko, Alexey A. Popov, Olga V. Boltalina, Steven H. Strauss, Nikos Kopidakis, Garry Rumbles*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Photoinduced charge generation (PCG) dynamics are notoriously difficult to correlate with specific molecular properties in device relevant polymer:fullerene organic photovoltaic blend films due to the highly complex nature of the solid state blend morphology. Here, this study uses six judiciously selected trifluoromethylfullerenes blended with the prototypical polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) and measure the PCG dynamics in 50 fs–500 ns time scales with time-resolved microwave conductivity and femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. The isomeric purity and thorough chemical characterization of the fullerenes used in this study allow for a detailed correlation between molecular properties, driving force, local intermolecular electronic coupling and, ultimately, the efficiency of PCG yield. The findings show that the molecular design of the fullerene not only determines inter-fullerene electronic coupling, but also influences the decay dynamics of free holes in the donor phase even when the polymer microstructure remains unchanged.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1601427
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • charge separation
  • electronic coupling
  • fullerene
  • organic photovoltaics
  • polymer solar cells


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