Stable and Controllable Polymer/Fullerene Composite Nanofibers through Cooperative Noncovalent Interactions for Organic Photovoltaics
Li, F.; Yager, K.G.; Dawson, N.M.; Jian, Y.-B.; Malloy, K.J.; Qin, Y. "Stable and Controllable Polymer/Fullerene Composite Nanofibers through Cooperative Noncovalent Interactions for Organic Photovoltaics" Chemistry of Materials 2014
A new method for controlling the interaction and interface between conjugated polymers and fullerenes is presented. Noncovalent interactions enable tuning of heterojunction order.
A novel methodology of precisely constructing stable and controllable conjugated polymer (CP)/fullerene nanostructures is presented. By building in noncovalent interactions between CP nanofibers (NFs) and fullerene derivatives, supramolecular polymer/fullerene composite NFs are obtained in solution for the first time. Specifically, a conjugated block copolymer having poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) backbone selectively functionalized with polar isoorotic acid (IOA) moieties, P1, is used as the building block. Self-assembly of P1 in mixed solvents leads to well-defined NFs decorated with IOA groups on the periphery, onto which phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) molecules are subsequently attached noncovalently. Formation of such complex structures are studied in detail and confirmed by UV–vis absorption spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and X-ray scattering measurements. Application of these composite NFs in organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices not only leads to superior performance but also much improved thermal stability and better defined and controllable morphology, when compared with conventional bulk heterojunction (BHJ) devices.