Probing the Nanoscale Phase Separation and Photophysics Properties of Low-Bandgap Polymer:Fullerene Blend Film by Near-Field Spectroscopic Mapping



The effect of the additive 1,8-octanedithiol (ODT) on the nanometer-scale morphology and local photophysical properties of low-bandgap polymer blends of poly[2,6-(4,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl)-4H-cyclopenta[2,1-b;3,4-b′] dithiophene)- alt-4,7(2,1,3-benzothiadiazole)] (PCPDTBT) and [6,6]-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) is investigated. Phase separations of the PCPDTBT:PCBM blend film induced by ODT are visualized by the morphological changes from fibril-shaped features to spherical bumps, by the dramatically increased photoluminescence emission from PCPDTBT that was originally largely quenched, and by the fluctuations of spectral features at different locations of the sample surface. The correlations between the morphology and the local photophysical properties of the blend film with/without ODT at both the micrometer and nanometer scales are revealed by confocal and high-resolution near-field spectroscopic mapping techniques.