Computational and experimental studies of phase separation in pentacene: C 60 mixtures

Ying Zheng, Sharon K. Pregler, Jason D. Myers, Jiaomin Ouyang, Susan B. Sinnott, Jiangeng Xue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Phase separation in molecular donor-acceptor mixtures composed of pentacene and C60 is examined using a combination of computational and experimental methods. Classical molecular dynamics simulations of the relaxation process of pentacene: C60 mixtures predict the formation of pentacene stacks and C60 clusters in the equilibrated structures. These findings are consistent with experimental observations, where x-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy characterization of the mixed films confirm the existence of polycrystalline pentacene domains. The scanning electron and atomic force micrographs of mixed films deposited at different rates as well as with various mixing ratios show that the aggregation of pentacene, and therefore the degree of phase separation in the mixtures, can be manipulated by the processing conditions. Finally, bulk heterojunction photovoltaic devices using different pentacene: C60 mixtures as an active layer are fabricated and their photovoltaic performance characteristics are compared. It is found that the device with 1:5.5 (by weight) mixing ratio of pentacene: C60 shows nearly 400 times higher power conversion efficiency than the 1:1 device due to successful control of nanoscale phase separation that leads to better exciton diffusion and charge collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-179
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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