In this study, we investigated the interplay of three-dimensional morphologies and the photocarrier dynamics of polymer/inorganic nanocrystal hybrid photoactive layers consisting of TiO 2 nanoparticles and nanorods. Electron tomography based on scanning transmission electron microscopy using high-angle annular dark-field imaging was performed to analyze the morphological organization of TiO 2 nanocrystals in poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) in optimal solar cell devices. The Three-dimensional (3D) morphologies of these hybrid films were correlated with the photocarrier dynamics of charge separation, transport, and recombination, which were comprehensively probed by various transient techniques. Visualization of these 3D bulk heterojunction morphologies clearly reveals that elongated and anisotropic TiO 2 nanorods in P3HT not only can significantly reduce the probability of the interparticle hopping transport of electrons by providing better connectivity with respect to the TiO 2 nanoparticles, but also tend to form a large-scale donor-acceptor phase-separated morphology, which was found to enhance hole transport. The results support the establishment of a favorable morphology for polymer/inorganic hybrid solar cells due to the presence of the dimensionality of TiO 2 nanocrystals as a result of more effective mobile carrier generation and more efficient and balanced transport of carriers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry