Molecular-Level Exploration of the Structure-Function Relations Underlying Interfacial Charge Transfer in the Subphthalocyanine/C60 Organic Photovoltaic System

The arrangement of organic molecules at the donor-acceptor interface in an organic photovoltaic (OPV) cell can have a strong effect on the generation of charge carriers and thereby cell performance. In this paper, we report the molecular-level exploration of the ensemble of interfacial donor-acceptor pair geometries and the charge-transfer (CT) rates to which they give rise. Our approach combines molecular-dynamics simulations, electronic structure calculations, machine learning, and rate theory. This approach is applied to the boron subphthalocyanine chloride (donor) and C60 (acceptor) OPV system. We find that the interface is dominated by a previously unreported donor-acceptor pair edge geometry, which contributes significantly to device performance in a manner that depends on the initial conditions. Quantitative relations between the morphology and CT rates are established, which can be used to advance the design of more efficient OPV devices.