Although it is known that molecular interactions govern morphology formation and purity of mixed domains of conjugated polymer donors and small-molecule acceptors, and thus largely control the achievable performance of organic solar cells, quantifying interaction–function relations has remained elusive. Here, we first determine the temperature-dependent effective amorphous–amorphous interaction parameter, χ aa(T), by mapping out the phase diagram of a model amorphous polymer:fullerene material system. We then establish a quantitative ‘constant-kink-saturation’ relation between χ aa and the fill factor in organic solar cells that is verified in detail in a model system and delineated across numerous high- and low-performing materials systems, including fullerene and non-fullerene acceptors. Our experimental and computational data reveal that a high fill factor is obtained only when χ aa is large enough to lead to strong phase separation. Our work outlines a basis for using various miscibility tests and future simulation methods that will significantly reduce or eliminate trial-and-error approaches to material synthesis and device fabrication of functional semiconducting blends and organic blends in general.
Nature Materials – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 5, 2018
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