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Polymer and hybrid nanostructures for applications in organic solar cells investigated with advanced x-ray techniques

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The investigation of nanostructures at surfaces, interfaces and in thin films requires dedicated analytical techniques, which provide information from a molecular to a mesoscopic scale. In particular, it is challenging to detect the complex morphologies which are necessary to have high efficiency organic solar cells. In such solar cells the active layer is sandwiched between multiple other layers, the devices make use of a thin-film geometry and structures need to be detected from the crystalline arrangement of the molecules to mesoscopic domain sizes. The advanced scattering techniques grazing incidence small and wide angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS and GIWAXS ) allow for a determination of such structures [1-4]. The use of different scattering geometries including micro-focused x-ray beams as well as novel techniques such as grazing incidence resonant soft X-ray scattering (GI-RSoXS) using different X-ray energies are applied to investigate organic solar cells. Examples based on conducting photoactive polymers and hybrid nanostructures are presented [5,6].


[1] P.Müller-Buschbaum: Grazing incidence small-angle x-ray scattering – an advanced scattering technique for the investigation of nanostructured polymer films; Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 376, 3 (2003)

[2] P. Müller-Buschbaum: Structure determination in the thin film geometry using grazing incidence small angle scattering; in “Polymer Surfaces and Interfaces: Characterization, Modification and Applications”, edt. M. Stamm, p.17-46 Springer Berlin, ISBN 13: 978-3 540-73864-0 (2008).

[3] P. Müller-Buschbaum: A basic introduction to grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering; in Special issue of Lecture Notes in Physics on “Applications of Synchrotron Light to Noncrystalline Diffraction in Materials and Life Sciences”, Vol. 776, edt. Ezquerra, T.A.; Garcia-Gutierrez, M.; Nogales, A.; Gomez, M.; p.61-90 Springer Berlin, ISBN 13: 978-3-540 95967-0 (2009).

[4] P.Müller-Buschbaum, V.Körstgens: Scanning probe microscopy and grazing incidence small-angle scattering as complementary tools for the investigation of polymer films and surfaces; in Special issue of NanoScience and Technology on “Scanning Probe Microscopy in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2”, edt. Bhushan, B.; p.101-129 Springer Berlin, ISBN -13: 978-3-642-10496-1 (2011)

[5] M.A.Ruderer, P.Müller-Buschbaum: Morphology of polymer-based bulk heterojunction films for oganic photovoltaics (review); Soft Matter 7, 5482-5493 (2011)

[6] M.Rawolle, M.A.Niedermeier, G.Kaune, J.Perlich, P.Lellig, M.Memesa, Y.-J.Cheng, J.S.Gutmann, P.Müller-Buschbaum: Fabrication and characterization of nanostructured titania films with integrated function from inorganic-organic hybrid materials (review); Chem. Soc. Rev. 41, 5131-5142 (2012)

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