A phase-field model for the evaporation of thin film mixtures

Olivier J.J. Ronsin (Corresponding author), Dong Ju Jang, Hans Joachim Egelhaaf, Christoph J. Brabec, Jens Harting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


The performance of solution-processed solar cells strongly depends on the geometrical structure and roughness of the photovoltaic layers formed during film drying. During the drying process, the interplay of crystallization and liquid-liquid demixing leads to structure formation on the nano- and microscale and to the final rough film. In order to better understand how the film structure can be improved by process engineering, we aim at theoretically investigating these systems by means of phase-field simulations. We introduce an evaporation model based on the Cahn-Hilliard equation for the evolution of the fluid concentrations coupled to the Allen-Cahn equation for the liquid-vapour phase transformation. We demonstrate its ability to match the experimentally measured drying kinetics and study the impact of the parameters of our model. Furthermore, the evaporation of solvent blends and solvent-vapour annealing are investigated. The dry film roughness emerges naturally from our set of equations, as illustrated through preliminary simulations of spinodal decomposition and film drying on structured substrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6638-6652
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2020


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