Sub-nanometre resolution imaging of polymer–fullerene photovoltaic blends using energy-filtered scanning electron microscopy

Abstract

The resolution capability of the scanning electron microscope has increased immensely in recent years, and is now within the sub-nanometre range, at least for inorganic materials. An equivalent advance has not yet been achieved for imaging the morphologies of nanostructured organic materials, such as organic photovoltaic blends. Here we show that energy-selective secondary electron detection can be used to obtain high-contrast, material-specific images of an organic photovoltaic blend. We also find that we can differentiate mixed phases from pure material phases in our data. The lateral resolution demonstrated is twice that previously reported from secondary electron imaging. Our results suggest that our energy-filtered scanning electron microscopy approach will be able to make major inroads into the understanding of complex, nano-structured organic materials.

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7928

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Masters2015SubnanometreRI, title={Sub-nanometre resolution imaging of polymer–fullerene photovoltaic blends using energy-filtered scanning electron microscopy}, author={Robert C. Masters and Andrew James Pearson and Tom S. Glen and Fabian-Cyril Sasam and Letian Li and Maurizio Dapor and Athene M. Donald and David G. Lidzey and Cornelia Rodenburg}, booktitle={Nature communications}, year={2015} }