Performance improvement of low bandgap polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells by incorporating P3HT

Rui Lin*, Matthew Wright, Kah Howe Chan, Binesh Puthen-Veettil, Rui Sheng, Xiaoming Wen, Ashraf Uddin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


This work demonstrates a significant improvement of device performance by incorporating the polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) into a low bandgap polymer poly[2,1,3-benzothiadiazole-4,7-diyl[4,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl)-4H- cyclopenta [2,1-b:3,4-b′]dithiophene-siloe 2,6-diyl]] (Si-PCPDTBT) and [6,6]-phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) host system, to form a ternary blend bulk heterojunction solar cell. The P3HT concentration was varied from 1 to 5 wt% in the host system. P3HT functions as a morphology control agent in this ternary system. A small weight percentage of P3HT can enhance the light absorption, polymer phase separation, exciton separation and charge carrier mobilities. These results are supported by UV-vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, photoluminescence analysis and other characterisation methods. The highest average power conversion efficiency improvement of 10% was achieved by adding 1 wt% P3HT to the host system. This study reveals a promising way to achieve high efficiency solar cells using a low bandgap polymer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2837-2846
Number of pages10
JournalOrganic Electronics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Organic solar cell
  • Ternary blend
  • P3HT

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