We present an in-house, in situ Grazing Incidence Small Angle X-ray Scattering (GISAXS) experiment, developed to probe the drying kinetics of roll-to-roll slot-die coating of the active layer in organic photovoltaics (OPVs), during deposition. For this demonstration, the focus is on the combination of P3HT:O-IDTBR and P3HT:EH-IDTBR, which have different drying kinetics and device performance, despite their chemical structure only varying slightly by the sidechain of the small molecule acceptor. This article provides a step-by-step guide to perform an in situ GISAXS experiment and demonstrates how to analyze and interpret the results. Usually, performing this type of in situ X-ray experiments to investigate the drying kinetics of the active layer in OPVs relies on access to synchrotrons. However, by using and further developing the method described in this paper, it is possible to perform experiments with a coarse temporal and spatial resolution, on a day-to-day basis to gain fundamental insight in the morphology of drying inks.
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The authors would like to acknowledge the two technicians who helped rebuilding and maintaining the instrument, Kristian Larsen and Mike Wichmann. Furthermore, the authors would like to thank Roar R. Søndergaard and Anders Skovbo Gertsen for fruitful discussions. This study was supported by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation
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