Understanding and controlling inorganic-organic interfaces in hybrid photovoltaic materials

The chemical compositions and structures of organic–inorganic interfaces in mesostructurally ordered conjugated polymer-titania nanocomposites are shown to have a predominant influence on their photovoltaic properties. Such interfaces can be controlled by using surfactant structure-directing agents (SDAs) with different architectures and molecular weights to promote contact between the highly hydrophobic electron-donating conjugated polymer species and hydrophilic electron-accepting titania frameworks. A combination of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), and solid-state NMR spectroscopy yields insights on the compositions, structures, and distributions of inorganic and organic species within the materials over multiple length scales. Two-dimensional NMR analyses establish the molecular-level interactions between the different SDA blocks, the conjugated polymer, and the titania framework, which are correlated with steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence measurements of the photoexcitation dynamics of the conjugated polymer and macroscopic photocurrent generation in photovoltaic devices. Molecular understanding of the compositions and chemical interactions at organic–inorganic interfaces are shown to enable the design, synthesis, and control of the photovoltaic properties of hybrid functional materials.

Neyshtadt, S., Jahnke, J., Messinger, R., Rawal, A., Huppert, D., Chmelka, B., Frey, G.
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Volume: 133
Pages: 10119–10133
Date: May, 2011
ICB Affiliated Authors: Bradley F Chmelka