Significant efficiency increases are being made for bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic prototype devices with world records at 11%. However the chlorinated solvents most frequently used in prototype manufacture would cause local health and safety concerns or large scale environmental pollution upon expansion of these techniques for commercialization. Moreover, research to bridge prototype and large-scale production of these solar cells is still in its infancy. Most prototype devices are made in inert glove box environments using spin-coating. There is a need to develop a non-toxic ink and incorporate it into a material deposition system that can be used in mass production.

In this thesis, P3HT:PCBM organic photovoltaic devices were fabricated with the help of inkjet printing. P3HT:PCBM blends were dissolved in organic solvent systems , and this solution was used as the ink for the printer. The "coffee-ring effect" as well as the effect of inkjet printing parameters on film formation were highlighted - thus the inkjet printing method was validated as a stepping stone between lab-scale production of OPVs and large-scale roll-to-roll manufacturing.

To address the need of a non-toxic ink, P3HT:PCBM blends were then dispersed in water, using the miniemulsion method. The nanoparticles were characterized for their size, as well as the blending between the P3HT and PCBM within the nanoparticle. These dispersions were then converted into inks. Finally, these nanoparticle inks were inkjet-printed to fabricate OPV devices.

Based on the results obtained here, tentative "next steps" have been outlined in order to improve upon this research work, in the future.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Photovoltaic cells--Materials; Ink-jet printing; Organic solvents

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Materials Science and Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Chemistry and Materials Science (COS)


Christopher Collison

Advisor/Committee Member

Scott Williams

Advisor/Committee Member

Denis Cormier


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TK8322 .P46 2015


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes