Quantitative morphology–performance correlations in organic solar cells: insights from soft X-ray scattering

Xuechen Jiao, Long Ye, Harald Ade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Organic/polymer semiconductors provide unique possibilities and flexibility in tailoring their optoelectronic properties to match specific application demands. One of the key factors contributing to the rapid and continuous progress of organic photovoltaics (OPVs) is the control and optimization of photoactive-layer morphology. The impact of morphology on photovoltaic parameters has been widely observed. However, the highly complex and multilength-scale morphology often formed in efficient OPV devices consisting of compositionally similar components impose obstacles to conventional morphological characterizations. In contrast, due to the high compositional and orientational sensitivity, resonant soft X-ray scattering (R-SoXS), and related techniques lead to tremendous progress of characterization and comprehension regarding the complex mesoscale morphology in OPVs. R-SoXS is capable of quantifying the domain characteristics, and polarized soft X-ray scattering (P-SoXS) provides quantitative information on orientational ordering. These morphological parameters strongly correlate the fill factor (FF), open-circuit voltage (Voc), as well as short-circuit current (Jsc) in a wider range of OPV devices, including recent record-efficiency polymer:fullerene solar cells and 12%-efficiency fullerene-free OPVs. This progress report will delineate the soft X-ray scattering methodology and its future challenges to characterize and understand functional organic materials and provide a non-exhaustive overview of R-SoXS characterization and its implication to date.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700084
Number of pages22
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • domains
  • molecular orientation
  • morphology
  • organic photovoltaics
  • soft X-ray scattering

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