Peak Force Visible Microscopy for Determination of Exciton Diffusion Length in Organic Photovoltaic Blends

In this article, we developed a new nano spectroscopic technique, peak force visible (PF-vis) microscopy, which is based on the peak force tapping mode in an atomic force microscope to both visualize nanoscale morphology and estimate exciton diffusion lengths of donor domains in organic photovoltaic blends. Nano phase-separations in P3HT:PCBM and TFB:PCBM blend films were clearly revealed by PF-vis microscopy with a high spatial resolution less than 10 nm. A model that correlates PF-vis signal and the exciton diffusion length was also developed to estimate the diffusion lengths of P3HT and TFB to be 2.9±0.3 and 9.0±1.5 nm, respectively. PF-vis microscopy is expected to assist the evaluation of OPV materials, therefore accelerating the pace of innovation of OPVs.