Enhanced air stability of polymer solar cells with a nanofibril-based photoactive layer

Jin Young Oh, Minkwan Shin, Hyun Woo Lee, Yu Jeong Lee, Hong Koo Baik, Unyong Jeong

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Abstract

In spite of the rapid increase in the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of polymer solar cells (PSCs), the poor stability of the photoactive layer in air under sunlight is a critical problem blocking commercialization of PSCs. This study investigates the photo-oxidation behavior of a bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) photoactive film made of single-crystalline poly(3-hexlythiophene) (P3HT) nanofibrils and fullerene derivatives [phenyl-C61-butyric methyl ester (PCBM), indene-C 60 bisadduct (ICBA)]. Because the single-crystalline P3HT nanofibrils had tightly packed π-π stacking, the permeation of oxygen and water into the nanofibrils was significantly reduced. Chemical changes in P3HT were not apparent in the nanofibrils, and hence the air stability of the nanofibril-based BHJ film was considerably enhanced as compared with conventional BHJ films. The chemical changes were monitored by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and UV-vis absorbance. Inverted PSCs made of the nanofibril-based BHJ layer also showed significantly enhanced air stability under sunlight. The nanofibril-based solar cell maintained more than 80% of its initial PCE after 30 days of continuous exposure to sunlight (AM 1.5G, 100 mW/cm2), whereas the PCE of the conventional BHJ solar cell decreased to 20% of its initial PCE under the same experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7759-7765
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume6
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May 28

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)

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