This work outlines the development of nano-porous, sub-micron poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) gel particles as solution-processable inks for applications in polymer solar cells. These dispersions are produced by emulsifying bulk P3HT organogels into water containing surfactant. The optical characteristics and stability of the resulting gel particles are assessed and their structure characterized. The P3HT within the gel particles is shown to retain its crystallinity with no evidence of doping. The gel particles are shown to be stable against aggregation due to the presence of surfactant at the oil/water interface. The fracture of the gel network during emulsification produces a bimodal distribution of particles that increase in size with increasing P3HT concentration in the 'parent' organogel. Small Angle Neutron Scattering measurements show that the particles maintain the structure of the bulk gels with high specific surface area. Spray-coating the gel particle dispersions produces uniform thin-films, which have been used to fabricate polymer/fullerene solar cells with a fully spray-coated active layer.
- Gel particle
- Solar cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry